Restitution – Constructive Trusts – Family Arrangements With Respect to Land Entered Into by Oral Trust

A mother, desiring to divide real property among five children, conveyed two of five shares by separate deeds to her daughter, Edith. Although no instructions were written, it was intended that Edith hold one share for her brother, John, who was mentally ill. Edith had no knowledge of the deed to this share at the time, as it was held by another brother, although the deed of her share was delivered to her. It does not appear when Edith first learned of the deed or the trust. When John died she was told of the deed by her other brother, but she refused to convey John’s share to his widow and only son as requested. In an action by the widow and son against Edith, the trial chancellor imposed constructive trust relief in their favor. On appeal, held, affirmed. Chancery will not permit Edith to enrich herself at the expense of others. Kent v. Klein, 352 Mich. 652, 91 N.W. (2d) 11 (1958).