Taxation in American States and Cities

By Richard T. Ely | Go to book overview

VII.
INHERITANCE AND BEQUESTS.

1. COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE STATUTES OF DESCENT AND WILLS IN ILLINOIS, SO AS TO INSURE A MORE GENERAL DIVISION OF PROPERTY AMONG THE PEOPLE.

AT the meeting of the Illinois State Bar Association January, 1886, the committee on law reform recommended, among other things, a most important change in the statutes of descent and wills, which we think ought to receive profound consideration. The recommendation is as follows: --

"That the statutes of descent of property and of wills be so changed as to limit the amount that any one may take by descent from the same person or by bequest or devise, except for educational and other charitable purposes."

The committee proceed to say that they would not recommend such a limitation as would carry the estate away from the kin of the decedent, or that would change the law as to the great majority of estates, but they would apply the limitation to those "abnormally large fortunes" which by being kept together as they may be as the law now stands "menace the political power of the state."

The exact way in which such estates should be divided -- that is, among whom as heirs and in what proportions is not set forth. The committee seem to have thought it better to leave the details to the wisdom of the legislature. They do,

-515-

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