Within families and close relationships, people regularly fulfill the needs of others as part of their commitment to loved ones. When the substantial activities or services of a person are not recognized within a will or testamentary document, those that gave time and effort can make a claim for payment against the estate or for an interest in real property that forms a part of the estate via a claim of constructive trust. At Vancouver’s Onyx Law Group, our estate litigation counsel represent clients who seek legal advice and guidance regarding their rights to compensation.
There are 3 remedies that you can ask the court to grant you from an unjust enrichment claim: 1) monetary restitution via the quantum meruit concept (value received approach), 2) monetary restitution via the value survived approach, or 3) constructive trust over title to real property.
1. Monetary Restitution via the Value Received Approach
Quantum meruit means “what one has earned.” The law allows for those who have provided services to be paid for those services even if there is no contract in place. In the case of family members who provide care-taking services for a loved one, for example, a quantum meruit claim can be advanced with the intent of securing a portion of the estate for the caretaker equivalent to the value of the services provided (for example on an hourly rate basis at the market rate of caregivers).
2. Monetary Restitution via the Value Survived Approach
Where there has been an unjust enrichment in the case of where one person holds a disproportionate amount of the family assets between the parties where both parties made contributions to the accumulation of the assets, the wronged person can ask the court for a monetary award according to the value survived approach so that he or she can receive a share of the assets that is proportionate to his or her contribution to the accumulation and increase in value of the assets.
3. Remedial Constructive Trust Over Real Property
When a person has made contributions towards the accumulation or increase in value of real property, and another person has been unjustly enriched by holding a disproportionate share of the real property, the wronged person can ask the court for an order that constructive trust be imposed over the entire or part of the real property in favour of the wronged party.
Onyx Law Group: Standing By Our Clients
At Onyx Law Group, we believe in our clients. Our dedication to justice includes helping those who have given of themselves for the benefit of others to receive what they are owed. As in all of our will dispute cases, we take the time to listen to our clients and understand what their goals are in seeking legal advice. We then offer efficient and practical legal solutions to meet their needs.