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About the Book

Wills, Trusts, and Estates: The Essentials

First Edition

Reid Kress Weisbord
Rutgers Law School
David Horton
UC Davis School of Law

Stephen K. Urice
University of Miami School of Law 

2018. 678 Pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-5609-2

About the Book

This new sleek and slender textbook provides a platform for teaching T&E as an accessible, engaging area of the law. As its title implies, Essentials covers only the core legal doctrines and does so in a concise, straightforward format that focuses on application rather than theory. The organizational structure of each chapter facilitates student learning by providing: (1) a clear explanation of the doctrine in plain English, (2) an excerpt of relevant statutory authority where applicable, (3) an illustration of the doctrine through a carefully-selected judicial opinion, and (4) an application of the doctrine in a problem set. Each judicial opinion is followed by a series of questions, as well as narrative answers to each question. The problem sets, which are heavily emphasized, simulate the practice of law in a realistic T&E setting. The Teacherís Manual covers theory and policy for instructors who want to provide context or stimulate discussion. Essentials is adaptable for two, three, and four credit versions of the T&E survey course.

Key features:

  • Essentials makes a challenging course as accessible as possible.
  • Essentials is both extremely concise and also adaptable for two, three, and four credit versions the T&E survey course.
  • Essentials emphasizes problem-solving through elaborate problem sets that allow students to apply newly learned legal doctrine in realistic scenarios, mostly based on litigated cases. Many of the problem sets are as detail-rich as the cases, which facilitates in-depth discussion of doctrinal nuance. A complete set of narrative answers for each problem set appear in the Teacherís Manual. 
  • Essentials is accompanied by extensive teaching materials, including a 300+ page Teacherís Manual and hundreds of PowerPoint slides for classroom use. The Teacherís Manual contains helpful explanatory material about doctrinal theory as well as discussion points about the cases that go beyond the Q&A series provided to students in the textbook itself.
  • Students greatly appreciate having the legal doctrine explained up front and in plain English. For professors, this format provides a baseline of knowledge on which to build a more lively classroom discussion of the cases and problem sets. According to student feedback, the textbookís inclusion of plain English doctrinal summaries often obviates the need for students to purchase a study supplement.
  • Most judicial opinions are accompanied by family tree diagrams in the textbook, thereby allowing students to more quickly ascertain the facts of each case while preparing assignment readings before class. 

Preface / Sample Chapters