The Yale Law Journal

Wills, Trusts, and Estates


Pregnancy and Living Wills: A Behavioral Economic Analysis

Elizabeth Villarreal

In most states, women are not permitted to have binding living wills during parts of their pregnancies. This Essay argues that the laws imposing these restrictions are ill-conceived and likely unconstitutional and, using behavioral economics, suggests a better alternative that respects women’s prefe…


Anatomical Intent

Reid Kress Weisbord

Organ transplantation holds the potential to save a sick person’s life, but for a large population of hopeful transplant patients, the short supply of transplantable organs causes a delay or denial of life-saving treatment. In the United States, recent survey data revealed that almost two-…


Context Matters: Rules for Reducing Taxable Value

Steven M. Fast, Gregory A. Hayes, Darren M. Wallace & Susan W. Ylitalo

Parents often create a family limited partnership (FLP) or similar entity to provide a vehicle for cohesive management of assets, secure some measure of creditor protection, or create a common pool for investment in marketable securities. FLPs generally encumber their members’ interests with restr…


The Estate Tax Fundamentals of Celebrity and Control

Mitchell M. Gans, Bridget J. Crawford & Jonathan G. Blattmachr


Questioning the Trust Law Duty of Loyalty: Sole Interest or Best Interest?

John H. Langbein

114 Yale L.J. 929 (2005)

The duty of loyalty requires a trustee to administer the trust solely in the interest of the beneficiaries. Any transaction in which the trustee has an actual or potential interest violates the sole interest rule, no matter how beneficial the transaction to the beneficiaries.…