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29 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 310 (2015-2016)
What Ghost up Must Come down: The Highs and Lows of Psychic Mediums in Probate Law

handle is hein.journals/qplj29 and id is 336 raw text is: 







QUINNIPIAC PROBATE

        LAW JOURNAL


VOLUME  29                    2016                        ISSUE 3



  WHAT GHOST UP MUST COME DowN: THE HIGHS
  AND  Lows OF PSYCHIC MEDIUMS IN PROBATE LAW

                         C. LILY SCHURRA*
I. An Introduction  to a Supernatural  Legal Concept

       Beyond  broad contemplations of the significance of life and
death is a troubling thought: if life does not end at death, what does
this mean  for the purposes of the law? So  much  of estate law is
centered on the concept that life ceases both literally and legally at
death-the  law's struggle with the controlling dead hand is but one
example  of this idea.' As Thomas Jefferson once stated in a letter to
James  Madison,  [t]he earth belongs in usufruct to the living; the
dead neither have powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by
any  individual ceases to be his when he himself ceases to be....2
Many  probate disputes concern the intent of the deceased regarding
the distribution of property. This Note examines the importance of
testator intent together with the notion that life can extend beyond
death.  Notwithstanding traditional notions such as those of Thomas
Jefferson, this Note explores nontraditional methods of determining
testator intent, particularly the use of psychic mediums to more aptly
devise a testator's property.

       A  psychic is [a] person who  is regarded as  particularly
susceptible to supernatural or paranormal influence; a medium;  a



* Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2016. Thank you to the Quinnipiac
Probate Law Journal Executive Board and Staff for their dedication to the success of this
Note. A special thank you to Professors Jeffrey Cooper and Kevin Barry for their guidance
and support throughout the writing and editing process.
i JESSE DUKEMINIER, ROBERT H. SITKOFF & JAMES LINDGREN, WILLS, TRUSTS, AND ESTATES
27 (9th ed. 2013).
2 Id. at 1 (quoting THOMAS JEFFERSON, 7 JEFFERSON'S WORKS 454 (Monticello ed. 1904)).

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