Inheritance and the Surviving Spouse

Ronald J Scalise

in Mixed Jurisdictions Compared

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638864
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651443 | DOI:
Inheritance and the Surviving Spouse

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This chapter examines how Louisiana and Scotland have implemented inheritance laws. It focuses on one significant aspect of intestacy, the position of the surviving spouse, and how each system achieves the dual goals of preference and protection. Both Scottish and Louisiana law have very different inheritance rights for the surviving spouse, although both attempt to achieve the same general purposes of fulfilling a decedent's preference and at the same time protecting the surviving spouse from arbitrary disinheritance. Part of this difference in the law is a product of history. Both systems still retain antiquated protective devices such as aliment or the marital portion, which create illusory protections at best. Even the more common provisions of each system's inheritance law, however, are anchored in history.

Keywords: inheritance laws; Scots law; Louisiana law; intestacy; preference; protection

Chapter.  13974 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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