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Sarah Gilmartin

Research student

Lancaster University

Bowland North

LA1 4YN

Lancaster

Thesis Title

Controlling Wealth from Beyond the Grave: A study of inheritance and succession with reference to the social, economic and moral considerations influencing common law and legislative developments in the last 200 years and contemplating the need for reform.   

Thesis Outline

My thesis explores the history of inheritance law, analysing the social, economic and moral influences on its development, considering wills, intestacy, trusts, and other transfer mechanisms. Tensions between competing claims on a deceased’s estate are evaluated and current issues such as the changing nature of property and the changing shape of families are also critically analysed to understand how inheritance laws, drafted in the early nineteenth and twentieth centuries, may best address inheritance within the twenty-first century. 

Supervised By

Dr Benjamin Mayfield and Dr Lu Xu