II. Discerning Testamentary Intent ... A. Alternative Approaches to Reformation ... 1. Historic Approach ... 2. Fellows Approach ... 3. Third Restatement Approach ... B. Seven Classic Mistake Cases ... 1. Case 1: The Crossed Will Execution—An Unequivocal Error ... 2. Case 2: The Bequest Void at Execution—Another Unequivocal Error ... 3. Case 3: Tax Mistakes—Red Apples, Green Apples, and Oranges ... 4. Case 4: The Scrivener's Error—Over-Reliance on Drafters' Testimony ... 5. Case 5: Uniquely Compelling Circumstantial Evidence-The Impotence of a Broad Standard to Assure Relief ... 6. Case 6: Undisposed of Property—The Power of the Family Preference to Preclude Apparently Justified Relief (and the Inefficacy of the Safe Harbor to Preclude It) ... 7. Case 7: Unanticipated Circumstances—The Power of the Family Preference to Create the Perception of Mistake (and the Inefficacy of the Safe Harbor to Preclude It)
III. Policy Implications ... A. Impact on Testators ... 1. Discrimination—The Unmarried Couple ... 2. Should the Atypical Bear the Risk of Intent-Defeating Reformation for the Benefit of Those Who Err? ... B. Impact on the Estate Planning Profession ... 1. Accuracy in Planning ... 2. Lawyer's Testimony in Reformation Proceedings ... 3. Standard of Proof in Malpractice Cases ... C. Impact on the System—Administrative Cost
IV. The Proposal ... A. Optional Reformation ... 1. Opting In Versus Opting Out ... 2. Manner of, and Parameters for, Opting In ... 3. Sample Authorization Form ... B. Mandatory Reformation: Mischief or Mistake ... 1. Illustrative Cases Within the Scope of Mischief or Mistake ... 2. Illustrative Cases Outside the Scope of Mischief or Mistake ... C. Potential Criticisms ... 1. Burdens on the Planning Process ... 2. Disparity Between Wills and Testamentary Substitutes
Pamela R. Champine,
My Will Be Done: Accommodating the Erring and the Atypical Testator,
80 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol80/iss3/2