The Uniform Probate Code ("UPC") can trace its origins back to a Model Probate Code promulgated by the American Bar Association ("ABA")'s section on Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law in 1946. In 1962, the Section on Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law, along with National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws began work on what was to become the original UPC. The National Conferences and the ABA's House of Delegates approved the UPC in 1969.

The 1969 UPC was an attempt to modernize some of the traditional rules and provide a degree of uniformity for the American law of wills and intestacy. In general, the original UPC did a good job of achieving these goals. The 1990 revised UPC was somewhat more ambitious. It introduced entirely new concepts such as "harmless error" and substantially changed longstanding rules on descent and distinction and elective share rights for surviving spouses. Unfortunately, some of the 1990 UPC's sections are unnecessarily confusing and complex, while others seem excessively vague and open-ended. This Article will identify some of the worst offenders and suggest ways to improve them.

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