thumbnail of Law in the news; Probate
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
The National Education already own network presents a lot in the news with Professor Joseph R. Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School. Recently at a meeting of probate judges probate lawyers and law teachers specializing in the Probate field one speaker rather startled his audience by setting forth a three count indictment of the legal profession an indictment in large measure based upon the layman's concern over the high cost of dying that speaker complained that the legal profession had failed to educate the public generally about the many plans available to one who seeks an equitable distribution of his property or a state at the end many times before death. He argued that the bar for all practical purposes has priced itself out of the marketplace of advice and counseling for that group of Americans in the low and low to middle income group. And here he referred to families with incomes ranging from seventy five hundred to fifteen thousand dollars a year. The last count of this three part informal
indictment was perhaps the most damning of all. It was a claymore charge that in many instances the services rendered were in fact not adequate. I might say that the speaker was not a layman as one might guess but rather a lawyer concerned that his profession was not keeping pace with the needs and the demands of the people lawyers seek to serve as a member of that profession and as a law teacher it is difficult for me. I suppose I should say impossible for me to allow the indictment to stand without at least an answer. First of all long before it became popular write about the high cost of probate and how to avoid probate various segments of the bar undertook extensive studies of the process by which property is transmitted from one to another in the course of implementing what we can call a family estate plan. In some states there has already been substantial statutory reform the purpose of which is to reduce the time and cost of probating a dissidents to state.
In addition the American Bar Association Commission a new uniform state laws joint project a project to develop a modern uniform Probate Code is nearing completion. Professor Richard Wellman of the University of Michigan Law School has been a driving force in developing along which vary greatly streamlines the probate process while at the same time better ensures one that his estate is distributed expeditiously and with a minimum of cost to the intended objects of his bounty. It is true that the cost of legal services is as affected by the inflationary spiral as is the cost of automobiles. Housing food and other necessities. This is perhaps one of the greatest difficulties the legal profession has to overcome. The planning of one's estate can be not only a very personal experience for a parent but complex. Lawyers well understand that no single plan is likely to suit all clients with the same family situation.
Still customizing each is we now seek to do can be costly in terms of time and inevitably in terms of dollars. A partial answer is the one advanced by the American Bar project. The law of intestacy that is the distribution of property which the law directs. In those cases where one dies without a will. Should more nearly coincide with the probable intention of the average man than it now does. The lawyer would then be in a position where the law in this posture to advise Mr Jones or Mrs. Smith that he or she need not draw a will for the will the law has for Mr. Smith or Mrs. Jones accomplishes their basic objectives. Mass production has been the means of bringing the automobile within the reach of most of us. This is likely to be the answer in the case of wills too. What is the service rendered today by lawyers adequate. I suppose the answer is
as mixed as when asked of any profession whether we concern ourselves with law medicine or any other professional group. A lawyer is prime asset is his reputation. His stock in trade his time. He is not likely to risk one or waste the other. Remember that the law our legal system does not have as its basic purpose the restricting or inhibiting of freedom. Its purpose is just the opposite. It protects freedom of action and provides opportunity. The law of wills permits one an incredible flexibility of disposition of property it of course must be understood that the more one seeks a customizing of his plan the more likely it is that the services rendered will increase in cost. Professor Joseph Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School has presented a law in the news recorded by the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service. This is the national educational radio network.
Law in the news
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-1g0hxw03).
Episode Description
This program examines the issues of probate law.
Series Description
This series focuses on current news stories that relate to the law.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
Politics and Government
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Julin, Joseph R.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35a-419 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:05:10
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Law in the news; Probate,” 1969-06-24, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Law in the news; Probate.” 1969-06-24. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Law in the news; Probate. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from