Can siblings verbally agree to divide an inheritance before the death of their parents or grandparents? The answer in Florida is yes. Farms, families and land go hand in hand, but if succession from one generation to the next is not managed openly and properly, there can be bitter inheritance disputes. So here`s the problem. If our training and experience tells us that oral agreements related to inheritance tax do not apply 99% of the time, how likely is it that we will recognize the rare case where the general rule does not apply? Not very, especially if we don`t have examples of what these cases might look like in real life. Fortunately, this year we have two examples of this type that have resulted in published notices of appeal, both of which were born in circumstances that should seem familiar to estate practitioners. Here is how the verbal agreement in the heart of this case was described by Justice Sawaya in his diverging opinion: This pattern of facts often occurs in Florida litigation with wills and trusts. If you have a question about the applicability of an oral contract in an inheritance dispute, you should consider contacting a Florida Probate lawyer to assess your legal situation. The threat of legal action for breach of an oral contract cannot at all help the case if a party intends to violate the agreement. However, the law considers that full oral agreements are legally binding and that the case can be brought before the courts so that a judge can make the final decision. Many people are unaware that, in many cases, oral agreements are as binding as written contracts. Oral contracts can be confirmed by a court if a person decides to violate the agreement, although it may be difficult to prove it without written conditions. Often in estate proceedings, potential beneficiaries claim that oral contracts have been entered into with the fraudster for the distribution of the estate. Under California law, oral contracts can be considered valid, but there are many reservations.
In this video, California Estate Lawyer Charles Triay explains how an oral contract could be considered valid in estate law. The good thing about a written agreement is that the terms are usually expressly defined in a document signed by all parties to the agreement. If there are arguments, you can think about what the agreement says. Case study #1: Can an oral agreement on the sharing of the mother`s inheritance be implemented? YES This case concerned the reasonable solution of a brother and sister for their mother`s frequent threats to bequeath one or the other of them. As a brother (“Ferguson”) claimed, instead of rolling the dice on who would be in Mom`s good grace when she died, he and his sister (“Carnes”) agreed to share the 50/50 inheritance pot, no matter what Mom`s will said. Thus the 4th DCA described its agreement: the classic difficulty of an oral agreement is that a party to the agreement tries to abandon the agreement reached and denies that such an interview took place. Clients often think that oral agreements are not binding. However, as a general rule, the law considers oral agreements to be legally binding.
Although there are some exceptions (for example. B transaction agreements between employers and employees or agreements for the sale and purchase of land), oral agreements may be applicable. An aggrieved party cannot re-engage in a breach action if there is never a contract.