New issues in estate planning today include the inheritance rights of "sperm bank" children, increasing recognition of an action for Intentional Interference with an Expectancy (Anna Nicole Smith case), the Harmless Error rule, and the increasing liability for attorneys who do a poor job of drafting. The book uses the richness of relatively full versions of contemporary cases - interspersed with segments of relevant statutes - to show the variety of important issues involved in any real case, and the variety of different techniques which may be employed to try to reach a particular result. Memorable stories and recent cases illustrate the fundamentals of estate planning. A few of the major issues in probate are included, such as entry into the safe deposit box of the deceased, giving (or avoiding) notice to creditors, and disputes over who is entitled to serve as personal representative when there is a serious dispute between creditors and heirs. The combination of good stories, relevant statutes, and important contemporary issues should give the reader a rich understanding of the area of estate planning.
Prof. Lucy A. Marsh, a graduate of Smith College and the University of Michigan Law School, has taught Trusts & Estates for many years at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and is the author of assorted books and articles in the field. She is Founder and Director of the Wills Lab, in which students write real wills, medical powers of attorney, living wills, and related documents for low-income clients under the direct supervision of practicing attorneys - thus giving law students the opportunity to learn the important skills of interviewing, advising, and drafting from lawyers who are experts in the field. Her goal is to help students learn how to apply theory to practice - effectively.