About Ray D. Madoff
Ray Madoff is a Professor at Boston College Law School where she teaches and writes in the areas of philanthropy policy, taxes, property and estate planning. Professor Madoff is the Co-founder and Director of the Boston College Law School Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good, a non-partisan think tank that convenes scholars and practitioners to explore questions regarding whether the rules governing the charitable sector best serve the public good.
Professor Madoff is the author of: Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead (Yale), which looks at how American law treats the interests of the dead and what this tells us about our values for the living. The Financial Times called it "a sparkling polemic. "Professor Madoff is also the lead author on one of the top treatises on estate planning: Practical Guide to Estate Planning (CCH) (published annually from 2001-2014) and has written numerous articles and chapters in a wide variety of areas involving property and death.
Professor Madoff’s areas of expertise include philanthropy policy, the rights of the dead (including the ability of the dead to control their bodies, reputation, and property),estate taxes, comparative inheritance law, and wealth inequality and taxes. A regular commentator on a number of these topics, Professor Madoff has appeared on dozens of national radio shows including On Point, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, Here and Now, and Marketplace, among others. Professor Madoff is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the New York Times, and has also published Op-Eds in the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Boston Globe and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Professor Madoff is an experienced mediator and leading authority on the use of mediation to resolve will and trust disputes. Prior to teaching, she was a practicing attorney for nine years in New York and Boston.
Professor Madoff is a member of the American Law Institute, an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel and past president of the American Association of Law School’s Trusts and Estates Section. She was named a 2014 Top Women of the Law by Mass Lawyer’s Weekly.
Honors and Awards
- Law Student Association's Teaching Award for "Inspirational dedication to the Boston College Law School Community," 2000
- Fall 2016: Estate and Gift Tax
- Spring 2017: Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning
Ray D. Madoff
Professor of Law
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
A Tale of Two Countries: Comparing the Law of Inheritance in Two Seemingly Opposite Systems Boston College International and Comparative Law Review (2014)
Although at first glance French and U.S. inheritance laws appear to be diametrically opposed, this paper provides a deeper analysis. In doing so, it explains that nuances within both systems have made the laws more ...
What Leona Helmsley Can Teach Us About the Charitable Deduction Chicago-Kent Law Review (2010)
When Leona Helmsley, the New York hotel and real estate heiress, died in August 2007, she left a will naming both human and canine beneficiaries. However, one of the unnamed beneficiaries of this estate plan ...
Autonomy and End-of-Life Decision Making: Reflections of a Lawyer and a Daughter Buffalo Law Review (2005)
What is the role of autonomy in end-of-life decision making? As a law professor specializing in this field I thought I knew the answer. As a family member facing end-of-life decisions of a loved one, ...
Mediating Probate Disputes: A Study of Court Sponsored Programs Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal (2004)
This Article examines six court-sponsored programs designed to encourage the use of mediation to resolve probate disputes in five jurisdictions: Texas, Florida, Georgia, California (Los Angeles and San Francisco), and Hawaii. Some of the programs ...
Lurking in the Shadow: The Unseen Hand of Doctrine in Dispute Resolution Southern California Law Review (2002)
Mediation - with its promise of less contentious, less expensive and more satisfying resolution of disputes - has been widely recommended for disputes in all areas of the law. Yet its successes have been far ...
Taxing Personhood: Estate Taxes and the Compelled Commodification of Identity Virginia Tax Review (1998)
In this Article, Professor Madoff explores the ways in which the blunt tools of the wealth tax, and in particular the estate tax, uses a one-size-fits-all system to impose a tax on all property interests ...