Scenario #1: Don, an elderly man, lives with his nephew Evan. Don is entirely dependent on Evan for support and his care. Evan advised Don to “invest” in Evan’s new consulting business or Evan will no longer support him. Don liquidated his other investments and a trust fund, and signed a contract with Evan giving all his investments and trust funds to Evan for Evan’s new business.
Later, Don had doubts about Evan’s new consulting business and wanted out of the contract.
Can Don set aside the contract with Evan, or is it valid and enforceable? Why or why not?
Scenario 2: Tom owned a house set on 1 acre of land that he wanted to sell when he retired in April, 2013. On April 1, 2012, Mary and Tom orally agreed that Mary would purchase Tom’s house and 1 acre of land for $350,000 cash on April 15, 2013. In the meantime, Mary and Tom agreed that Tom would continue to own and live on the property. On April 15, 2013, Mary presented Tom with a cashier’s check for $350,000 for the house and Tom transferred the deed to the house and land to Mary in her name. Mary and Tom properly filed all the documents necessary for the closing on the real estate sale.
Mary and Tom had also agreed previously that Tom could remain on the property following the closing of the sale on April 15, 2013 until April 17, 2013 to give him time to move out. On April 17, Tom refused to move out claiming that their oral agreement for sale of the property was invalid and unenforceable under the Statue of Frauds.
1. Was the sale originally subject to the Statute of Frauds and if so, for what reason(s) and why?
2. Is the contract for sale of the property valid so that Tom has to relinquish possession of the property? Why or why not?