Wright, Higdon, and Crawford's Wills, Trusts, and Estates: An Integrated Approach (Doctrine and Practice Series)
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This casebook takes a new approach to teaching trusts and estates. The primary focus is on estate planning, rather than litigation, and starts by providing students with all of the major testamentary tools generally used today, including wills, trusts, powers, joint tenancies, life insurance, and other will substitutes. With the basic tools under their belt, students then turn to planning for the client, the spouse and children, future generations, and for tax minimization. The book also covers barriers to succession, such as the rule against perpetuities, slayer statutes, revocation, and litigation as well as professional responsibility. In addition to applying wills, trusts, and other tools in a holistic way to certain planning scenarios, the book focuses heavily on drafting in light of the myriad statutes that govern in this area. The book also takes a very different approach to presenting cases. Rather than including a few long and lightly-edited cases, the book instead relies on numerous case squibs that illustrate different factual scenarios for each legal issue, followed by the court’s decision and reasoning. This approach allows students to learn the range of issues and options that arise in this complex area of practice. The book also includes numerous statutes intended to illustrate the different state approaches to certain issues, using the UPC as the primary model. The authors likewise include practice points, tax tips, family factors, and technology trends, all of which are intended to prompt deeper discussion and further thought. Finally, there are extensive problems throughout the book, with the answers located at the back, so students can evaluate how they are progressing. The book has received rave reviews from students and faculty for its intuitive approach and holistic treatment of the subject.