Promise to Leave You Property: How Do You Enforce it In Court?

promises

Promises, promises.  Has anyone ever promised to leave you something after they die?  Did they make that promise because you agreed to help them or take care of them leading up to death?  If so, you may be able to enforce that promise when the time comes if you are left out of the Will or Trust.

While not every promise to leave you something in a will is enforceable, a promise to leave you something in exchange for something of value provided by you might be enforceable.  The most common example is where a person agrees to care for an elder in exchange for a piece of property, like a house.  These agreements can be enforced even if not put in writing.  Of course, it is better if the agreement is in writing (so try to write it down and have it signed if you can).  But most of the time people do not write down they agreement.

If your agreement is not in writing, then your best bet is to have some evidence that you changed your circumstances and provided the services your promised to provide.  When you have changed circumstances, that is good evidence of an agreement between the parties.

WARNING: your MUST bring your contract to make a will lawsuit within a year of the decedent’s death.  That is an ABSOLUTE deadline, there are no exceptions.  So be sure to take action immediately if you believe you have an agreement with someone that was not honored in their Trust or Will.