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Examples & Explanations Wills, Trusts & Estates

Comprehensive coverage is the hallmark of Wills, Trusts, and Estates: Examples and Explanations. This well-respected text covers intestacy; wills and trusts (including non-probate assets); estate administration; wealth transfer taxation (including gift tax, estate tax, generation-skipping transfer tax); disability and death planning; and malpractice and professional responsibility.


The unique Examples and Explanations pedagogy combines textual material with well-written examples, explanations, and questions to test students' comprehension and provide them with practice in applying information to fact patterns. In addition to examples designed to teach in a step-by-step manner, the book includes comprehensive questions which present a variety of issues in one fact situation. These are similar to those students can expect on a law school or bar examination. The conversational style is designed to hold students' interest. A casebook correlation chart enables the book to be used with any of the six most popular casebooks in the subject. The text's "learning by doing" approach helps students master the law and provides a non-threatening environment in which to evaluate how well they can apply what they have just learned. Practical suggestions interspersed throughout the text enhance its pedagogical value and give students an appreciation of the real-world application of their course. Sample will and trust provisions and an extensively annotated model will that includes a testamentary trust give students drafting assistance.

The book is designed for students taking Wills, Trusts, Wills & Estates, Estates & Trusts, Gratuitous Transfers, and similarly titled courses that introduce property transmission upon death. Because it provides background and review material, it can also be useful in advanced courses in estate planning or wealth transfer taxation. General nationwide rules are spotlighted without being sidetracked by many individual cases. A complete, student-friendly index easily pinpoints sought-after material, as do tables that locate material relevant to the Uniform Probate Code, Uniform Trust Code, and Internal Revenue Code.

The Fifth Edition has been fine-tuned and updated to reflect the most recent developments, including the transfer of death deeds, self-settled spendthrift trusts, the Rule Against Perpetuities reform, Federal Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax. In addition, new material is presented on the Uniform Trust Code, the rights of same-sex partners, Medicaid planning, and physician-assisted suicide. Revised examples parallel the updated content. New casebook correlation tables relate to new editions of the major casebooks, especially the Eighth Edition of Dukeminier, Johanson, Sitkoff, and Lindgren's Wills, Trusts, and Estates.

Hallmark features of Wills, Trusts, and Estates: Examples & Explanations:

  • Comprehensive coverage of intestacy, wills, and trusts
  • non-probate assets
  • estate administration
  • wealth transfer taxation (gift tax, estate tax, generation-skipping transfer tax),
  • disability/death planning
  • malpractice/professional responsibility
  • Unique Examples & Explanations pedagogy
  • combines textual material with examples, explanations, and questions