First, what is a contract to make a will?
A contract to make a will is exactly as it sounds. It is an agreement to provide for a person as part of a decedent’s will. The terms of the agreement could be as simple as a promise to provide services in exchange for a specific cash gift as part of a decedent’s will. For example, Elizabeth may promise to provide caregiving and household services to William in exchange for William’s promise to provide her with $250,000 upon his death. When William dies, hopefully his will has a provision leaving a specific cash gift of $250,000 to Elizabeth. If not, then there has been a breach of the agreement. The agreement can become substantially more complex, particularly when real property is the subject of the agreement. Instead of agreeing to pay Elizabeth $250,000 in exchange for her services, William may promise to leave his house to Elizabeth. Again, when William dies there may be a breach of the agreement if William’s will contains no provision instructing that his house be given to Elizabeth.
Continue Reading Dead Men Tell No Tales and Other Issues with Contracts to Make a Will