Richard L. Kaplan

Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law


Professor Richard Kaplan, the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law, graduated from Indiana University with highest honors and earned his law degree from Yale University. He practiced law in Houston with Baker & Botts, specializing in U.S. tax consequences of international transactions, before joining the faculty in 1979. An internationally recognized expert on U.S. taxation and tax policy, he has lectured in these areas on three continents, testified before the U.S. Congress on several occasions, and written innovative course books on income taxation and international taxation.

Professor Kaplan developed one of the first law school courses on elder law, an emerging specialty dealing with the legal implications of extended life, and is the co-author of Elder Law in a Nutshell (7th ed. 2019). He has served as faculty advisor for the Elder Law Journal since its inception in 1992. He has also been recognized with the Outstanding Professor in the College of Law several times and has received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching at the University of Illinois. Professor Kaplan is a fellow of the Employee Benefits Research Institute and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.


JD Yale University
BS Indiana University

Areas of Expertise

Accounting and Law
Elder Law
Health Law
Income Tax
Retirement Plans / ERISA


Elder Law
Federal Tax Policy
Financial Accounting for Lawyers
Income Taxation
Law Teaching Practicum

Selected Publications

Elder Law in a Nutshell (with Lawrence A. Frolik) (Thomson/West Publishing Co.; 6th ed. 2014).

What Now? A Boomer’s Baedeker to the Distribution Phase of Defined Contribution Retirement Plans, NYU Rev. Emp. Benefits & Executive Compensation 4-1 (2015).

Desperate Retirees: The Perplexing Challenge of Covering Retirement Health Care Costs in a YOYO World, 20 Conn. Ins. L.J. 433 (2014).

Reforming the Taxation of Retirement Income, 32 Va. Tax Rev. 327 (2012)

Top Ten Myths of Medicare, 20 Elder L.J. 1 (2012).

Retirees at Risk: The Precarious Promise of Post-Employment Health Benefits, 9 Yale J. Health Pol’y, L. & Ethics 287 (2009) (with Nicholas J. Powers and Jordan Zucker).

A Guide to Starting Social Security Benefits, J. Retirement Planning 33 (July-Aug. 2008).                     

Retirement Planning’s Greatest Gap: Funding Long-Term Care, 11 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 407 (2007).

Retirement Funding and the Curious Evolution of Individual Retirement Accounts, 7 Elder L.J. 283 (1999).

Top Ten Myths of Social Security, 3 Elder L.J. 191 (1995).

See All Publications