Disinheritance in New York State: Legacies We Do and Do Not Leave
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Summerfield, Jason N.
INTRODUCTION|"Beneficiary restriction clauses," as described in the recent Illinois case In re Estate of Feinberg, exclude a beneficiary from taking under a will for satisfying or failing to satisfy a condition stated in a testamentary instrument. These clauses utilize religious restraints, conditions that concern the legatees' marital status or religious choices (or a combination of the two).|We care for our personal history as much as we wish to protect those that follow in our footsteps. The last will and testament can provide a snapshot of more than the testator's financial affairs and family tree. The document can also yield hints as to the testator's beliefs, aspirations, desires, and the sometimes elusive "intent." Beneficiary restriction clauses are a valuable tool for those that cherish their religious and cultural history. They are a reflection of the testator's intent, acting as a mechanism that hopes to strengthen the connection that a testator's family feels towards the applicable faith.|We are more sensitive people living in a progressive time, gravitating towards a new system that embraces a diversity of unions and without the hindrances and barriers that previous generations imposed. The framework is there, and the desire for change is seen in numerous areas of estate practice. It is only the transformation of beneficiary restriction clauses that has not occurred. The question remains: is the transition necessary? Are we better, or at least equally served, by recognition of religious restraints in modern Surrogate's Court practice?...
43 Creighton L. Rev. 785 (2009-2010)
Creighton University School of Law