This title is a part of our CasebookPlus™ offering as ISBN 9781685613211. Learn more at

Stake’s Trusts and Estates is designed to be a teacher-friendly casebook for a basic course in trusts and estates. What is teacher friendly about it? First the book is not a hornbook or treatise and does not require the teacher to remember a lot of note material that is unimportant to teaching basic principles. It also includes portions of the UPC in the book rather than requiring another book for statutory materials, which is student-friendly as well. Second, it raises policy questions that students find interesting because the questions engage them as if they will be in a position to influence their state’s law on trusts and estates. Concerning social policy, this casebook does not assume that the goal of following the decedent's intent overrides other fairness concerns or efficiency. Third, it presents examples and problems that can be used to dig into the rules or can be ignored as the teacher sees fit. Fourth, the cases are interesting as stories of what can go wrong in families and what can go wrong in trust and estate practice. Stake's book can be covered in a 3-hour course or, by closer analysis of cases and problems, expanded to fill a 4-hour course. Fifth and finally, an extensive set of 1000 PowerPoint slides is available to casebook adopters. Most of the slides are only text, but a few of the slides include graphics or suggestions for audio or video clips that fit with the material.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 11/09/2022

Jeffrey Evans Stake, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. CasebookPlus provides support beyond your classroom lectures and materials by offering additional digital resources to you and your students. Anchored by faculty-authored formative self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class – on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part. CasebookPlus combines three important elements:

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Multiple-choice self-assessment questions, including:
  • Chapter questions keyed to the casebook
  • Black Letter Law questions (available in select subjects)
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Essay and short answer questions with sample answers and expert commentary, in 1L and select upper-level subjects

Leading digital study aids, an outline starter, and audio lectures in select subjects

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Compared to the first edition, the second edition:

  • includes corrections to errors in the text
  • corrects the formatting of one edited case
  • expands and clarifies the text in a few places
  • substitutes Estate of Kievernagel instead of the older Hecht case. The newer case includes a discussion of the older case and adds a new dimension to it.
  • adds DeHart v. DeHart and information received from the lawyer in that case
  • adds UPA § 708 which presents new rules for families made up of more than 2 parents
  • adds Janus v. Tarasewitz which illustrates the injustice that can result in states where the original Uniform Simultaneous Death Act is still the law
  • adds a section of text on motivational clauses
  • adds In re Strittmater’s Estate to show sexist assumptions about women fighting for women’s liberation
  • adds a portion of Kirkeby v. Covenant House to present an example of telephonic attestation gone wrong (and to present a simple example of Dependent Relative Revocation)
  • adds Patrick v. Patrick
  • adds Espinosa v. Sparber, Shevin, Shapo, Rosen and Heilbronner to show potential malpractice by lawyer drafting will after client has another child
  • adds Marsman v. Nasca to show potential malpractice by trustee
  • adds another portion of Kirkeby v. Covenant House to show the statutory elective share

Learn more about this series.