Don’t Hope For An Inheritance, Ask For It

A Massachusetts court has ruled that simply rendering help or services to someone in the hope that it will result in a payment from that person’s estate is not enough to guarantee payment.

(Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

In this case, reported on, Suzanne Cheney performed many services for her stepfather, Anthony Turco, and expected to receive a share of his estate in return. But, to her dismay, he stiffed her. Didn’t leave her a penny.

She sued his lawyer, who also served as administrator of his estate, alleging malpractice and claiming she was entitled to certain funds from the estate in return for the many services provided in his declining years.

The judge dismissed the malpractice claim saying she and her stepfather’s attorney had no attorney-client relationship and the claim seeking money even though she had claimed there was an implied agreement. The court said that since there was no contract or agreement, there was no basis for payment.

So don’t make the same mistake and hope you will be compensated for caring for someone in their final years. If you want to be paid, get it in writing.

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