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Wealth can be transferred on death in a number of different ways, most commonly by will. Yet a person can also use a variety of other means to benefit someone on death. Examples include donationes mortis causa, joint tenancies, trusts, life-insurance contracts and nominations in pension and retirement plans. In the US, these modes of transfer are grouped under the category of `will-substitutes' and are generally treated as testamentary dispositions. Much has been written about the effect of the use of will-substitutes in the US, but little is generally known about developments in other jurisdictions. For the first time, this collection of contributions looks at will-substitutes from a comparative perspective. It examines mechanisms that pass wealth on death across a number of common law, civil law and mixed legal jurisdictions, and explores the rationale behind their use. It analyses them from different viewpoints, including those of owners of businesses, investors, as well as creditors, family members and dependants. The aims of the volume are to show the complexity and dynamics of wealth transfers on death across jurisdictions, to identify patterns between jurisdictions, and to report the attitudes towards the different modes of transfer in light of their utility and the potential frictions they give rise to with policies and principles underpinning current laws.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Will-Substitutes from the Perspective of Individual Jurisdictions 1. Will-Substitutes: A US Perspective THOMAS P GALLANIS 2. Will-Substitutes in Canada ANGELA CAMPBELL 3. Will-Substitutes in England and Wales ALEXANDRA BRAUN 4. Will-Substitutes in Scotland DANIEL CARR 5. Will-Substitutes in New Zealand and Australia NICOLA PEART AND PRUE VINES 6. Will-Substitutes in Italy GREGOR CHRISTANDL 7. Will-Substitutes in France CECILE PERES 8. Will-Substitutes in Germany ANATOL DUTTA 9. Will-Substitutes in Switzerland and Liechtenstein DOMINIQUE JAKOB Part II: Overarching Perspectives 10. Will-Substitutes from the Perspective of Business Owners SUSANNE KALSS 11. Will-Substitutes from the Perspective of (International) Investors PAUL MATTHEWS 12. Will-Substitutes and Creditors: Canada and the US LIONEL SMITH 13. Will-Substitutes: The Perspective of Creditors in Germany, and England and Wales REINHARD BORK 14. Will-Substitutes and the Claims of Family Members and Carers JONATHAN HERRING 15. Will-Substitutes and the Family: A Continental Perspective ANNE ROETHEL 16. Exploring Means of Transferring Wealth on Death: A Comparative Perspective ALEXANDRA BRAUN AND ANNE ROETHEL

About the Author

Alexandra Braun is Professor of Comparative Private Law at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in Law at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Anne Roethel is Professor of Law, Chair of Civil Law, European and International Private Law at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg.


I found this book to be informative, interesting and easy to read. I recommend practitioners giving estate, trust and asset planning advice read this text while tax lawyers will also find it interesting. -- Greg Kelly * LawTalk 904 * Although much has been written about the effect of the use of will-substitutes in the United States, contributors to Braun and Rothel's volume look at them in comparative perspective, examining mechanisms that pass wealth on death across a number of common law, civil law, and mixed legal jurisdictions, and exploring the rationale behind their use. * Law and Social Inquiry * This book is helpful in categorizing the multitude of means to pass wealth on death in modern society. -- Margaret R. O'Sullivan * Estates Trusts and Pension Journal * For those readers who enjoy the view from 30,000 feet up, as well as an invigorating flight plan through several different legal cultures, this book offers both. And at the end of the journey, one arrives with a refreshed and more insightful understanding of modern succession law on death. -- MARGARET R. O'SULLIVAN, Estate Lawyers, Toronto * Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal, Volume 36, No. 3 * In acknowledging and exploring the realities of wealth transfer upon death, Braun and Roethel call upon the international legal community to reconsider the scope of succession laws and whether they are achieving their underlying goals. * Maastricht European Private Law Instiute Website * The rise of succession by way of will-substitutes raises hard questions of law, policy and sound practice...Against the backdrop of decades of experience with these questions in American practice, Passing Wealth on Death undertakes to launch comparative study of the will substitute phenomenon. A comparative take on will-substitutes is an exciting and welcome development. The American literature, although fulsome, is almost entirely inward looking. -- Robert H Sitkoff, Harvard Law School * The Cambridge Law Journal * The eminent contributors have clearly put a high level of careful scholarship into the individual essays in the volume. The project has greatly advanced our understanding of will-substitutes and their place in the law of succession ... given the quality of the analysis it offers, the book is a highly recommended purchase for university libraries, for scholars in the area of succession law, and for larger legal practices with an interest in international estate planning. -- John Mee, University College Cork * Law Quarterly Review *

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