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Albany Law Review

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Uniform Probate Code, geographic mobility, property rights, wealth transfer


Estates and Trusts | Jurisdiction | Law


The prefatory note to the 1990 revisions of article II of the Uniform Probate Code ("UPC") indicates that the changes wrought are a response to several developments since the promulgation of the UPC in 1969. The prefatory note emphasizes the decline of formalism, the proliferation of will substitutes, the multiple-marriage society, and the rise of the partnership/marital sharing theory as stimulative of the revisions introduced. The theme of this article is that one other crucial development has been essentially ignored. No serious attempt has yet been made by the drafters to address the immensely complex yet commonplace issues associated with, and being generated by, the unprecedented geographic mobility of individuals and their ability, in a world of rapid communications and decreasing constraints on investment, to own property in more than one jurisdiction. While the UPC is a masterful work of law reform, the issues raised by the increasingly peripatetic nature of individuals and their capital requires the most careful attention. If the UPC is to be fully relevant in the future in facilitating the proper disposition of and determination of rights in property, it must take a more active role in the burgeoning effort to provide a viable legal framework for multi-jurisdictional wealth transfer.



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