UNWORTHY HEIRS: THE APPLICATION OF THE PUBLIC POLICY RULE IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
AbstractThis article considers the implications of the 1870 legislative abolition of the common law doctrines of attainder, forfeiture, corruption of blood and escheat. It exposes various complications in the subsequent public policy position disallowing criminals to profit from their crimes, such as whether it extends to crimes other than murder or to claims derived from the felon, the nature of conviction or acquittal evidence admissible in civil actions, its applicability to insane perpetrators and placement of the onus for proving insanity, its effect on survivorship of joint tenancies and on insurance policies. It concludes that an examination of these complications shows the rule too widely applied, and calls for reconsideration of the reasons behind such application.
Keywords:Descent and Distribution, Wills
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