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This memorandum is a guide for authors submitting articles for publication in Probate & Property, the magazine of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the ABA.

Editorial Purpose

Probate & Property strives to present material of interest to lawyers practicing in the areas of real property, trusts, and estates. Authors should aim to provide practical information that will aid lawyers in giving their clients accurate, prompt, and efficient service.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts should be double-spaced, typed in a font equivalent to 12 pt. Times New Roman, and submitted as an e-mail attachment in Microsoft Word. Probate & Property does not use footnotes or endnotes with articles, but cases and other authorities should be cited (see ¶ 4 below). Please submit articles to the appropriate articles editor:

For Real Property

Kathleen K. Law
Nyemaster Goode PC
700 Walnut St, Ste 1600
Des Moines, IA, 50309-3800
[email protected]

For Trust & Estate

Michael A. Sneeringer
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
 9132 Strada Place, 3rd Floor
Naples, FL  34108 
[email protected]

Before submitting an article, the author may wish to consult the appropriate articles editor. Probate & Property seeks to publish articles ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 words in length (approximately 7 to 18 double-spaced, typed pages). Subject matter will be an important consideration, but articles that are too long for the magazine's limited space will of necessity be rejected or edited to fit. The best length for an article in the magazine is 2,000 to 3,000 words. Relevant charts, tables, photographs, illustrations, and sample language are desirable and will be included as space permits, at the discretion of the editors. All illustrations should be high resolution (300 dpi minimum) and attached as separate files, either PDF or JPG preferred.

Web Searching

The author should provide at least five keywords and a one-sentence description of the article to enhance electronic searching when the article is uploaded to the magazine’s web page.


Articles should present practical information in a clear and readable manner. The style should be as nontechnical as possible, and “legalese” should be avoided. The extensive use of bullet points is discouraged. Articles should be written for the lawyer who is not a specialist in the subject and who is looking for usable information that is not difficult or time-consuming to read. Introductions and conclusions are strongly encouraged. Short paragraphs and sentences are preferred. Short subheads are suggested in longer articles. When an article includes tables, charts, or forms, these should not be included within the body of the article but should be submitted on separate pages. Except when referring to a specific individual, articles should be gender neutral. Generally, they should also be written in the third person. Cases or other relevant authority should be cited in the body of the article. Please use only one cite; parallel cites are not necessary. Use the West Reporter cites. For Tax Court decisions, cite to T.C. or B.T.A., if therein; otherwise cite to T.C.M. (CCH), T.C.M. (P-H), T.C.M. (RIA), or B.T.A.M. (P-H).

Author Credits

Probate & Property authors will receive bylines and credit lines. Generally, the credit line will include only the author’s name, title, firm, company or school, city and state, Section committee memberships or other Section activities, and, if applicable, the RPTE committee or group of which the article is a project. No biographical sketches, names of those who inspired or assisted in preparing the article, or other information will be included.

Multiple Authors

When more than one person has written an article, one person should be designated who can be contacted about editorial changes. The authors named should be only those who have actually written the article and should not include persons who have assisted with research or in other ways.

Committee and Group Projects

If the article is the project of a committee or group of RPTE, the author (if a single author) or person designated as the editorial contact (if multiple authors) should be so indicated at the time of submission. Only individuals may be authors, however; the committee or group itself may not be an author.


Each author should disclose any relationship he or she may have with the firm, company, or person producing any product or providing any service referred to in the article and any financial or other interest he or she may have in any product or service discussed in the article. The author should make full disclosure even when the relevance seems remote. Full disclosure will allow the editors to judge the objectivity of the author, to determine whether a real or apparent conflict of interest exists, and to determine whether disclosure should be made in publishing the article. By submitting a work for publication, all authors acknowledge they have reviewed the ABA Business Conduct Standards (BCS) and agree to comply with all applicable provisions. Probate & Property requires that all conflicts of interest, such as those identified in the ABA Business Conduct Standards, be disclosed in any content or material submitted for publication. At a minimum, Probate & Property requires that any content or material submitted for publication contain the identity of all authors and their professional affiliations, both to establish their qualifications and to reveal any potential conflicts of interest.


It is the policy of Probate & Property that on all submissions of original articles the author retains the copyright but the American Bar Association and Probate & Property, on acceptance of the article for publication, shall have:

  1. first publication rights (unless the article is submitted and identified as a reprint);
  2. subsequent, multiple reprint rights in any American Bar Association publication in any medium;
  3. the right to grant access to the article, its title, and other bibliographic citation material stored electronically in public databases and to furnish printed copies requested through public databases; and
  4. the right to authorize others to reproduce or reprint the article, subject to the author’s consent. 

For questions about the ABA’s copyright policies, contact ABA’s Copyrights & Contracts Department.

Warranty and Representation

Authors must agree not to submit any content that infringes upon or violates the copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights of any person or organization. By submission of an article to Probate & Property, the author warrants and represents that he or she has included no material in the article in violation of any rights of any other person or entity, that he or she has disclosed to Probate & Property all relationships with any person or entity producing any product or providing any service referred to in the article, and that he or she has disclosed any financial or other interest in any product or service discussed in the article.

Publication Agreement

Before publication, all prospective authors must sign an ABA publication agreement, and all publication agreements are required to be reviewed and approved by Probate & Property and the ABA Office of the General Counsel (GCO). Authors of accepted articles are required to sign a Publication Agreement, which includes the author’s warranty that the work is original and does not infringe on the rights of others. Please note that ABA General Counsel discourages changes to the standard publication agreement. Alterations to the agreement must be reviewed by ABA Copyrights & Contracts and ABA General Counsel and are subject to approval.

Multiple Submissions

If an article is submitted or accepted for publication elsewhere before acceptance by Probate & Property, the author agrees to notify the appropriate articles editor immediately. As a general rule, Probate & Property does not accept articles that have been published elsewhere. The submission of previously published material is strongly discouraged. For any content submitted for potential publication, the Probate & Property will assume that the submitted content has not been submitted or already published elsewhere. The publication may not be submitted elsewhere while it is being evaluated by Probate & Property for potential publication. If the submission has been previously published or is scheduled to be published elsewhere, the author must communicate that fact to Probate & Property.


Probate & Property grants its authors a wide latitude of expression and encourages thoughtful presentation of a wide variety of viewpoints but reserves the right to edit and, if necessary, revise any submission before publication to conform to the ABA’s editorial requirements and procedures, including ABA standards of style, editing, and format, and Probate & Property’s policies and procedures. Probate & Property reserves the right to change the title of any article accepted for publication and to edit the text of the article. Proofs of the edited article—but not the edited manuscript—will be sent to the author for comment. Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes if they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their publication. Upon discovering such an error, the author must contact Probate & Property and identify the error. A decision on how to correct the publication will be made by Probate & Property depending on the nature of the error.

Payment for Articles/Complimentary Copies

Probate & Property does not pay for articles. Each author will receive five complimentary copies of the issue in which the author’s article appears and a pdf of the article, without artwork, for the author’s use in internal marketing, for client mailings, and on the author’s organization’s web site.


The author’s grant of permission to reprint the article in another publication does not include the right to freely photocopy or otherwise directly reproduce the actual pages on which the article appears. Photographs, illustrations, cartoons, and advertisements, as well as the text from other articles that may appear on the page with the author’s text should be blocked out before reproduction. The reproduction of the ABA logo, covers, and mastheads of ABA publications is strictly prohibited. For questions about the ABA’s reprint policies, contact ABA’s Copyrights & Contracts Department.

Acceptance Policy

No single member of the Editorial Board has the authority to commit to the publication of any article before it has been submitted, even when the article has been specifically solicited by a member of the Board. Authors are notified by the appropriate articles editor of the acceptance or rejection of articles. In its discretion, the Editorial Board may withdraw an article previously selected for publication, delay publication of a selected article, or reschedule a selected article. Probate & Property reserves the right to reject any submission and to retract or reject any publication at any point in the publication process if there are any concerns with its content, including any content that is inconsistent with the ABA’s goals and policies. Probate & Property does not guarantee publication of any submission.


Probate & Property will not publish any content or material that is defamatory or violates the law. Probate & Property supports the expression and publication of a variety of viewpoints, including those that are controversial or unpopular, but only when done in a civil manner. Decisions to publish articles that express unpopular opinions or encourage controversy are within Probate & Property’s discretion.

Author’s Agreement

By permitting the publication of an article in Probate & Property, the author agrees to all the terms, provisions, and policies of Probate & Property stated in this Memorandum for Authors.