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Stewart E. Sterk and Melanie B. Leslie's
Estates and Trusts: Cases and Materials, 5th Edition

This book is designed entirely for teaching and learning. We have assembled questions, problems, and notes to focus student attention on critical issues. We have tried to be crisp, and to present material in ways that will keep students awake and engaged. Our teachers' manual, in addition to providing the usual case summaries and answers to casebook questions, offers concrete suggestions about how to teach each chapter, complete with suggested discussion questions for those who might find them useful. Professors may access and download the Teachers' Manual from this site after registering.

Any course book dominated by appellate cases - including this one - permits and encourages teachers and students to explore the niceties of legal doctrine from the perspective of policy makers and litigators. Most estate lawyers, however, are not litigators; they are office lawyers who focus on drafting and planning to avoid litigation. We have designed this book to integrate drafting and planning issues with discussions of doctrine and policy. Many of the notes, questions and problems ask students what they would do, as drafters and planners, to avoid the litigation that resulted from the planning and drafting decisions made by the lawyers in the principal cases in this book.

We seek not only to provide a thorough introduction to the doctrinal rules surrounding trusts, powers of appointment, and other wealth transmission devices, but also show students why a client would find it advantageous to use those devices. Wherever possible, we have organized materials functionally so that students understand why a lawyer would want to use a particular technique before we consider the legal rules that govern that technique.

Many of the clients who generate the most lucrative business for estates lawyers have one principal goal in mind: tax avoidance. That remains true even as Congress debates the very existence of the estate tax. This book is not designed for a course in taxation. At the same time, we believe that law students can more fully appreciate the importance of many of the devices they study - particularly trusts and powers of appointment - if they have at least a rudimentary understanding of the federal estate tax. We have incorporated a brief introduction to the estate tax early in the book, and we have built on that basic introduction in later chapters. At schools where most students with an interest in trusts and estates take courses in gift taxation or estate planning, it is, of course, possible to skip the tax material we have included.

The new Fifth Edition provides increased focus on cutting edge issues including asset protection trusts, dynasty trusts, and tortious interference with inheritance. It simplifies treatment of estate tax issues, and includes discussion of the estates of various celebrities - including Anna Nicole Smith, James Brown, Doris Duke, and Andy Warhol - in order to bring complex legal issues to life. Registered professors may access and download our comprehensive list of Fifth Edition changes from this site.

In addition, this casebook is accompanied by power point slides to use in explaining concepts for which diagrams are useful, such as intestate succession, the elective share, anti-lapse statutes, abatement and future interests. The unusually helpful teacher's manual includes not only case summaries and detailed legal analysis, but detailed lesson plans and discussion questions for those new to law teaching.

The book is designed to be adaptable for 3-5 credit courses, or for separate 2 credit courses in "wills" and "trusts." We encourage and welcome questions or suggestions via email or phone.

Leslie and Sterk's Trusts and Estates, 3d
(Concepts and Insights Series)

The Third Edition of Concepts and Insights on Trusts and Estates makes complex doctrinal rules easier to understand by exploring the history and rationale behind those rules. The analysis is thorough, and focuses both on common law doctrines and statutory reforms-with an emphasis on the Uniform Probate Code and the Uniform Trust Code. Each substantive chapter closes with a set of exam-like problems designed to test understanding of the material included in the chapter. The authors also include thorough solutions to each of these problems. This is the only book in the field that combines thorough doctrinal analysis with more than 60 review problems, each with complete solutions.

Sample Materials:
Table of Contents

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