Mark Glover, ‘A Taxonomy of Testamentary Intent’

… Recognizing the importance of testamentary intent and the persistent uncertainty surrounding it, this Article seeks to cultivate a deeper understanding of the doctrine by untangling the various strands of testamentary intent. It does so by developing a taxonomy of testamentary intent that can provide guidance to courts charged with evaluating the validity and meaning of wills as well as clarity to the theoretical discussion of the law in this area. With a better understanding of the various strands of testamentary intent and the relationship among them, a more coherent and consistent body of law can develop.

This Article proceeds in three parts. Part I lays the foundation for the taxonomy by describing the general testamentary intent requirement and prior attempts to decipher the meaning of the term. Part II develops the taxonomy by identifying the three primary strands of testamentary intent, including donative testamentary intent, operative testamentary intent, and
substantive testamentary intent. Finally, Part III examines the implications of the taxonomy. Specifically, it explains how the taxonomy can bring clarity and consistency to various components of the law of wills and therefore how the taxonomy can foster jurisprudential coherence within the testamentary intent doctrine … (more)

Mark Glover, ‘A Taxonomy of Testamentary Intent’, George Mason Law Review, volume 23:3, Spring 2016.

First posted 2016-05-11 06:45:17

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