The Marriage Moment: “We Inherit Nothing Truly, But What Our Actions Make Us Worthy Of”
Volume 88, Online
By Fredrick E. Vars, Professor, University of Alabama School of Law [PDF]

In its landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the United States Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as others. “[M]arriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations,” the Court declared. This is certainly true for many people, but marriage is not an unmitigated good. Like all things, it can be abused. As the right to marry expands, the potential for such abuse ought to be narrowed.

This Essay proposes that a person who procures a marriage solely to receive advantages at death and through misconduct that would support a will contest should not be treated as a spouse for purposes of intestacy, the elective share, or other death benefits.