Probate, the judicial process for settling a decedent’s estate, has been vilified and shunned for nearly five decades. Its cost, delay, and lack of privacy motivate the public and their advisors to utilize a multiplicity of title formats and alternative devices to transfer assets at death. For some time the Uniform Probate Code promised an avenue of reform. Modest adoptions, however, and the emphasis on court involvement restrict its ability to modernize estate settlement. This Article proposes a markedly different approach, an approach that would replace a thousand years of settling estates solely within a judicial system. The proposal is to remove probate from the courts and to substitute a registration system. This proposed nonjudicial approach validates a will by a simple recording, permits a fiduciary to take office by a statement of acceptance, and allows beneficiaries to transfer assets with simplicity and privacy.
Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte
EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit. Although the case presented many serious [...]
Revisiting Water Bankruptcy
REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]
Defying Auer Deference
DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.F The Court overturned the D.C. [...]