Inheritance Law and the Evolving Family


Nontraditional families are today an important part of American family life. Yet when a loved one dies, our inheritance laws are often stingy even towards survivors in the nuclear family. With humor, enthusiasm, and a bit of righteous outrage, Ralph C. Brashier explores how probate laws ignore gender roles and marital contributions of the spouse, often to the detriment of the surviving widow; how probate laws pretend that unmarried couples-particularly gay and lesbian ones-do not exist; how probate laws allow a parent to disinherit even the neediest child; and how probate laws for nonmarital children, adopted children, and children born of surrogacy or other forms of assisted reproductive technology are in flux or simply don't exist. A thoughtful examination of the current state of probate law and the inability of legislators to recognize and provide for the broad range of families in America today, this book will be read by those with an interest in the relationship between families and the law across a wide range of academic disciplines. Author note: Ralph C. Brashier is the Cecil C. Humphreys Professor of Law at the University of Memphis School of Law. He was a co-author of the "Keeping Current" column in the American Bar Association's Probate and Property magazine, and continues to serve as a contributing editor. In addition to penning a number of law review articles on the subject of inheritance law, he serves as a member of the Tennessee Uniform Probate Code Commission and is a former editor-in-chief of the Mississippi Law Journal.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Philadelphia
Publication year:
  • 2004


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