Professor Simmons: “A Chinese Inheritance”

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Tom Simmons

Associate Professor of Law Tom Simmons has had accepted for publication an article titled A Chinese Inheritance by the editors of the Quinnipiac Probate Law Journal. The  publication is produced by the Quinnipiac University School of Law located in North Haven, Connecticut. While teaching USD law students in China the last two summers, Simmons became interested in Chinese inheritance laws and worked with a Chinese law student to translate several recently decided inheritance decisions from the Chinese courts. He notes: “The cultural values of a society are often discernible in its laws of succession and intestacy (that is, the laws which govern the distribution of a decedent’s estate when there is no valid will). The most startling characteristic of Chinese inheritance law is its willingness to invoke judicial review of an heir’s conduct in settling upon distribution shares. Chinese conduct-based intestacy is widespread and fluid.” His article contrasts American and Chinese approaches to intestacy and identifies competing policies and values.

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