Because her husband had abandoned her during the 18-months she battled breast cancer, the wife executed a trust as well as also will which left him nothing as well as also appointed her sister as personal representative of her estate. When she died in 2002, the wife had spent years maintaining the “marital home” as well as a vacation property near West Branch. She paid all the property-related expenses without contribution coming from her husband.
Six-months after his wife’s death, the husband filed a petition from the Macomb Probate Court to set aside his deceased wife’s will as well as also trust as well as also to remove the cloud his wife placed on their properties. from the resulting court battle, the wife’s sister, relying almost extensively on out-of-state caselaw, asserted equitable contribution as well as also abandonment theories, arguing of which allowing husband to posthumously reap the benefits of his deceased spouse’s labors amounted to an unjust enrichment.
The Court of Appeals was not persuaded, deciding of which a married person cannot execute an estate plan of which effectively acts as a “posthumous divorce”. The appellate court’s ruling keeps the sanctity of marital property intact as well as also declined to “invent a claim” coming from which a decedent spouse can reach her surviving husband coming from her grave.
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