Jennifer Jiang has the latest on the case for transfer on death deeds in the North Carolina Law Review. Jennifer makes the case for these deeds, because they're of use to people of relatively modest means and sophistication and I hope we'll see more of this kind of scholarship and legislative action, too.
But there's also a scholarly story in here, too. This is part of a trend of increased scholarship on trusts and estates. That trend is moving in two directions -- first, toward solid and traditional doctrinal analysis; and, second, and of special interest to me, of the exploration of historical and critical perspectives on trusts and estates. I'm thinking here, for instance, of Jason Kirklin's empirical study of probate in pre-Civil War Indiana last year in the Ohio State Law Journal, but also of what seems to be increased focus on the race and gender as they relate to trusts and estates. One example of this that comes to mind immediately is Bernie Jones' book, Fathers of Conscience. Will be most exciting to see where this all goes! I think that old idea that trusts and estates scholarship is an intellectual backwater is, well, outdated. (More thoughts on the field of trusts and estates, especially as it relates to the gender of faculty, here.)