Contractual bequest.Contractual Bequest

The Dallas Court of Appeals decided a case in 2013 that involved this contractual bequest in a will: if you “reside with and care for me until my death…” I’ll give you a million dollars. It also had a provision that if the lady failed to perform fully, then the bequest of one million dollars would not take effect.

The decedent’s daughter filed the will for probate. She then asked the judge to declare that the lady to whom the contractual bequest was made was not entitled to the contractual bequests because she failed to comply with the conditions stated in the will, that is, she did not perform her part of the contract.

There was a trial and the jury found that the lady had performed her duties. The daughter appealed but the Dallas court upheld the jury’s verdict. The lady received her one million dollar bequest. So, contractual bequest in wills are valid but both parties need to perform their contractual duties. 424SW3d608.