The ‘Quantum Meruit’ Claim On An Estate
David A. Brooker, litigation lawyer with the Toronto firm of Steinberg, Morton, Hope & Israel LLP, explains the ‘quantum meruit’ claim on an estate.
Sometimes people want to make a claim for services that they provided to the testator. The legal term is “quantum meruit”. Sometimes people take care of someone because they are promised something in the will. Then the will doesn’t have that provision in it. Or sometimes the person is promised something before the person dies, but the person dies before giving them that gift. In other cases someone may have given up something to enrich the testator’s estate, or provided long-term care without any payment. For instance, someone may give up their home and job to move in with the testator to take care of a business, home or farm.
In these cases it’s important to prove that you made a contribution and received nothing in return. If you took care of a parent, but received free room and board throughout your time living with him or her, then you have received something of value in return for your services (although you may still be able to make a claim). If you’re taking care of somebody, you would have to look at how much it would cost if they hired a professional care giver. How much did the person save by having you take care of him? Each circumstance is very different, but it is a claim that is made fairly often.
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with litigation law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Steinberg, Morton, Hope & Israel LLP for a consultation.