Brief Fact Summary. Jean Bongaards’ mother created a trust and made her the life tenant. When Bongaards died, her husband petitioned the court that the trust property be included in his wife’s estate.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A surviving spouse may include the property of a trust within their deceased spouse’s estate if the trust was created by third party for the benefit of the deceased spouse
Issue. Whether a surviving spouse may invade a deceased spouse’s trust and take their elective share, if the trust was established by a third party?
Held. No, a surviving spouse may not invade a deceased’s spouse’s trust and take their elective share if the trust was created by a third party. A third party ahs no obligation sot support someone else’s property. Property owned by a third party ahs never been a part of someone else’s spouse’s elective share “estate.”
Circumstances that may give rise to an estoppel are (1) a representation intended to induce reliance on the part of a person to whom the representation is made; (2) an act or omission by that person in reasonable reliance on the representation; and (3) detriment as a consequence of the act or omission.View Full Point of Law