Macomb Woman Obtains Divorce From the Grave

“…The Court of Appeals was not persuaded by the sister’s legal arguments in equity, deciding that a married person cannot execute an estate plan that effectively acts as a ‘posthumous divorce’. The appellate court’s ruling emphasized the sanctity of marital property intact and declined to ‘invent a claim’ from which a decedent spouse can reach her surviving husband from her grave. In reversing the intermediate appellate court, the Supreme Court extended the doctrine of contribution to find Husband liable for his portion of the maintenance of the property. The high court was persuaded to fashion an equitable remedy where Sister had no remedy at law. Essentially, the Supreme Court found that Husband had been unjustly enriched by reaping the benefits of his wife’s maintenance and improvements to the properties, while contributing nothing …” (The Law Blogger, 12 November)

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