Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Today a draftsman of wills should consider the increased risks of multiple deaths resulting from the hazards of modern living in general and travel by airplane and automobile in particular. He should be aware of the possibility of the client's death with his intended beneficiary within a short period, in a common disaster, or under circumstances in which there is no evidence of survivorship. The failure to provide for these possibilities may lead to the frustration of a testamentary disposition, as a beneficiary must survive the testator in order to take under the testator's will.' Further, the advent of the marital deduction provisions in the Internal Revenue Code makes a consideration of these possibilities a practical sine qua non to the drafting of any testamentary plan involving a husband and wife. These possibilities will herein be considered from the standpoint of the common law, applicable statutes and testamentary provisions.