Washington Law Review


The volumes under review are written primarily for attorneys dealing in the subject of estate planning. Mr. Polisher's emphasis is on the tax consequences of estate planning, accompanied, however, with numerous practical suggestions on the merits of various substantive provisions in the estate plan, looking to the minimization of tax liabilities. He discusses in readable detail the provisions of the federal estate and gift tax law (with incidental reference to income tax liability) as it affects both common law and community property. However, his discussion of community property in relation to federal taxes is rather brief. Mr. Shattuck's discussion is in part at least on a somewhat more elementary plane. He places principal emphasis upon the substantive provisions of the estate plan principally against a background of Massachusetts law, and assigns the tax consequences of estate planning (which he does discuss, however) to a secondary role. Community property problems in the field are not discussed. Mr. Shattuck rightly emphasizes the important place of the revocable trust in estate planning despite the fact that tax liabilities are generally not reduced by its use. He also devotes a very useful chapter to the estate plan in relation to conflict of laws.

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