The Dead Tell No Tales, but They Still Have Rights

A Law Professor on the Property Rights of the Dead 1

Mimi Bernardin

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close A Law Professor on the Property Rights of the Dead 1

Mimi Bernardin

Ray D. Madoff finds the study of laws on death and inheritance fascinating. But perhaps even more interesting, she says, is what those laws say about the living. Ms. Madoff, a professor at Boston College Law School, has studied and written extensively about estates and trusts. In her latest project, she explores what the American legal system says about death, and what that says about our culture.

Q. What makes America's legal system distinct in how it