Posted by Rich on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 6:24am.
Hazel is 84, and suffers from debilitating arthritis. Sometimes, she can barely walk. Every time Hazel has been unable to get around, her neighbor Ruth cooks and cleans for her until she feels better. Hazel has offered to pay Ruth, but Ruth always declines. One day when Hazel is feeling well, she and Ruth eat out in a restaurant, and Hazel tells Ruth she is going to leave her $50,000 in her will. Six months later, Hazel dies without leaving a will. Can Ruth successfully sue Hazel’s estate for $50,000? State the legal reasons for your answer.
Original answer from above question:
This is a very interesting case and in my opinion, I think that Ruth won’t be able to sue Hazel. It’s a little hard for Ruth to sue because she doesn’t have a written or verbal statement, stating that Hazel will be leaving her a will of $50,000. There was no type of contract from nether sides of the parties that she was getting $50,000 from Hazel after she would pass. No unilateral contract was made from one party, in order to enforce a contract or an act, which in this case would be Ruth because Hazel not being alive any more. Another difficulty for Ruth would be that she was offered money prior to Hazel dying and the court will automatically ask why she refused the money. It doesn’t really make any sense of her trying to win $50,000 from a dead person than accepting money from Hazel when she was alive. Ruth will not be successful at suing Hazel without proof that Hazel ever promised her money. It is always best that when placed in a situation where someone promises you something, always ask for proof of that by asking for a written contract, stating what the promises are to you.
Can Ruth argue promissory estoppel? Could she argue that she should be compensated for the continued work to assist Hazel on the basis of the promise for payment?
Distinguish between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common with regards to real property. What are the differences in the owners’ rights and obligations between the types of ownership?
Original answer from above question:
The difference between joint tenancy and a tenancy in common are that with a joint tenancy (like a married couple) there is an equal share of the property. When one of them dies then the other the person will get the entirety of the worth of the property. He/she is the only other person that has rights to the property. In the event of a tenancy in common there does not have to be an equal share of the ownership of the property, meaning that one person can have a larger share of ownership of the property. However, they all have an equal right to the property. What this means is that any one of the tenants has the right to alienate or transfer the rights of the property to another without the consent of the other or others. In a tenancy in common there is no right of survivorship to the property if one or the other passes away. In the event that one of the tenants dies the property atomically goes into probate and the court systems will decide the fate of the property and who has the rights to that property, and that could be the other tenant.
Most married couples buy home in joint tenancy. However, if the marriage was on the verge of divorce is it possible for a spouse of the marriage to turn the JT into a tenancy in common? Can you think of some way
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