Academic journal article Vanderbilt Law Review

Symposium: The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer: Introduction

Academic journal article Vanderbilt Law Review

Symposium: The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer: Introduction

Article excerpt

Property and inheritance are "quintessential state matters."1 In fact, there is no federal intestacy law. There is no federal wills law. There is no federal trust law. And yet. . . .

Increasingly, federal law impacts court decisions involving private wealth transfer. Increasingly, federal law is the central consideration in premortem and postmortem planning for private wealth transfer. Despite this, until recently, little scholarly attention has been paid to this phenomenon; the assumption regarding the centrality of state law, quoted above, having gone largely unquestioned. But now that the "sleeping giant" has awakened, the role that federal law plays in private wealth transfer requires serious and comprehensive academic consideration.

This symposium issue of the Vanderbilt Law Review is intended to do just that. There are ten articles addressing various facets of the topic. These are set forth in the same order as the order of the presentations made by the distinguished authors at the symposium that took place at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this year.2 A number of the articles are followed by comments by other distinguished scholars, who not only address the particular article, but also use the comment as a platform to explore other aspects of the topic

The old paradigm is dead. …

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