Claims for Services to an Estate

Claims for Services to an Estate

Individuals often provide services to a deceased person upon an expectation that the individual will be remunerated or will benefit upon the deceased's death. These services often include providing for the deceased's personal care during periods of illness or infirmity. On occasion, a deceased may indicate a willingness to provide some benefit to the caregiver in his or her will in recognition of the services that are being provided by the caregiver. In some cases, although the representations are made and the services are delivered, the deceased fails to provide for the promisee in his or her will.

Under such circumstances the disappointed promisee may advance a claim against the deceased's estate. Such a claim may be for money commensurate with the services provided by the promisee to the deceased. Alternatively, the person who provided services may seek a declaration that a portion of the deceased's estate, or all of the deceased's estate, is held on a constructive trust for the promisee so as to avoid the deceased's estate from being unjustly enriched by the services provided to the deceased for which the caregiver was not compensated.