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Review of Reviews: “Testamentary Transfers and the Intent versus Formalities Debate: The Case for a Charitable Middle Ground,” U. Kan. L. Rev. (forthcoming)

Peter T. Wendel, professor, Caruso School of Law in Malibu, Calif.

Let’s start with a quiz. True or False? In medieval England, wills could be made by a nod of the head. In his marvelous romp through the origins and history of “will formalities,” Professor Wendel tells us that the answer to this quiz question is “True.” Only in 1540 did Parliament adopt the Statute of Wills that required wills devising land to be in writing; oral wills could still dispose of chattels. Even then, there were no other required formalities, and only much later, with the English

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