Testation and the Mind
84 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017 Last revised: 22 May 2017
Date Written: March 13, 2017
This Article explores the panoply of state-of-mind rules in inheritance law. In areas of law concerned with wrongdoing, consideration of mental states achieves specific deterrence and moral justice. By comparison, in the inheritance realm, I argue that consideration of mental states can serve to economize on decision costs. The Article looks at state-of-mind rules through this prism and also analyzes the public policy of these rules from the perspective of modern research into psychology. Finally, the Article examines state-of-mind rules comparatively, identifying inconsistencies between them that require justification. The Article closes by observing potential expansions of the model and applications in other areas of law.
Keywords: inheritance, wills, testation, testamentary capacity, sound mind, mistake, insane delusion, undue influence, fraud, ratification, testamentary intent
JEL Classification: K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation