In early July, the Uniform Law Commission approved a new act, the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act, at its annual meeting held this year in Boston. Harvard Law School Professor Robert H. Sitkoff, who focuses his research on economic and empirical analysis of the law of trusts and estates, served on the drafting committee for the Act. The Act codifies the law of powers of appointment, a staple of modern estate-planning practice.
Earlier this year, Sitkoff was appointed to a new Drafting Committee on Trust Decanting. In 2012, Sitkoff was appointed to two other Uniform Law Committees—the Study Committee on Trust Protectors, and the Drafting Committee on Series of Unincorporated Business Entities. Sitkoff also serves as a liaison member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trusts and Estates Acts, the principal oversight body for all uniform law activity pertaining to trusts and estates matters.
Sitkoff has served under gubernatorial appointment as a Uniform Law Commissioner from Massachusetts since 2008. He previously contributed to the Commission’s Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreement Act (UPMAA), which was approved in July 2012.
Established in 1892, the Uniform Law Commission provides states with non-partisan legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law. The ULC is made up of practicing lawyers, judges, legislators and legislative staff and law professors, who have been appointed by state governments as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Commissioners research, draft and promote enactment of uniform state laws in areas of state law where uniformity is desirable and practical.
In 2012, Sitkoff was elected to join the American Law Institute’s Council, the governing body of the ALI. The ALI is the leading independent organization in the U.S. producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law.
The youngest chaired professor with tenure in the history of Harvard Law School, Sitkoff previously taught at New York University School of Law and at Northwestern University School of Law. Sitkoff’s work has been published in leading scholarly journals such as the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and the Journal of Law and Economics. Sitkoff is the surviving coauthor of “Wills, Trusts, and Estates” (Aspen 9th ed. 2013), the leading American coursebook on trusts and estates. He is the editor of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates abstracting journal of the Social Science Research Network, an academic fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a past chair of the Section on Trusts and Estates of the Association of American Law Schools.