Topic: Airbrushed Heirs: The problem of children omitted from wills

Presenter: Professor Adam Hirsch

This Article addresses rules in the United States which endeavor to protect children from
unintentional disinheritance. The Article examines the problem in the abstract and in the
concrete, assessing the merits of the twin theories—mistaken omission and failure to account for
changed circumstances—on which lawmakers predicate rules to protect omitted children, as well
as exploring the extant legislative variants of those rules. The Article concludes that current
legislation (including the Uniform Probate Code) is insensitive to the problems complexities
and proposes legislative revisions—including the substitution of transient for permanent
presumptions—or, in the alternative, a switch to discretionary rules. In the course of addressing
the problems ramifications, the Article also undertakes the first-ever empirical study of
individual attitudes toward inheritance by children whom fathers are unaware they have. 

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Contact: Law Events, ph: 3365 2523, email:

About Research Seminar Series

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Sir Samuel Griffith Room, 1-W341, Forgan Smith Building
Sir Samuel Griffith Room