Published on June 23, 2015
Hazel is 84, and suffers from debilitating arthritis. Sometimes, she can barely walk. Every time Hazel has been unable to get around, her neighbor Ruth cooks and cleans for her until she feels better. Hazel has offered to pay Ruth, but Ruth always declines. One day when Hazel is feeling well, she and Ruth eat out in a restaurant, and Hazel tells Ruth she is going to leave her $50,000 in her will. Six months later, Hazel dies without leaving a will. Can Ruth successfully sue Hazel’s estate for $50,000? State the legal reasons for your answer. Do not argue that Ruth can’t prove that Hazel made the promise as this question is not about the rules of evidence so assume that every fact stated in the scenario has been proved. If it makes you happier, assume the waiter overheard the promise and will so testify.