Tait, The Law of High-Wealth Exceptionalism

Professor Allison Anna Tait, University of Richmond School of Law had made available for download her article, The Law of High-Wealth Exceptionalism, published in the Alabama Law Review (2019). The Abstract is as follows.

No family is an island. But some families would like to be – at least when it comes to wealth preservation – and they depend on what this Article calls the law of high-wealth exceptionalism to facilitate their success. The law of high-wealth exceptionalism has been forged, over the years, from the twinned scripts of wealth management and family wealth law, both of which constitute high-wealth families as sovereign entities capable of self-regulation and deserving of exemption from the rules that govern ordinary-wealth families. Consequently, high-wealth families take advantage of complicated estate planning techniques and highly favorable wealth rules in order build walls around their family fortunes and construct bespoke governance systems. Hiding in plain sight, the law of high-wealth exceptionalism protects, privileges, and enables high-wealth families in their own particular form of organizational sovereignty.

The fact that high-wealth families operate according to their own rules might seem totally unconnected to the political lives and financial health of ordinary-wealth families. However, high-wealth exceptionalism intensifies old harms and creates new ones within the larger polity. To begin, the law of high-wealth exceptionalism increases systemic risk in financial markets, shifts tax burdens from high-wealth to lower-wealth families, and widens the wealth gap. Compounding these problems, high-wealth family exceptionalism facilitates the growth of a plutarchic and patrimonial system of government in which power is based on family wealth and privilege flows in a circuit between a small number of already exceptionally resourced families. Understanding how the law of high-wealth exceptionalism functions is, consequently, an important step in identifying hidden levers of wealth inequality and addressing the resulting democratic deficit.

Download the full article at Tait, The Law of High-Wealth Exceptionalism.

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s