Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, June 22, 2009

Court may impose constructive trust on basis of unjust enrichment alone

Kansas In its extensive opinion in Nelson v. Nelson, 205 P.3d 715 (Kan. 2009), the Kansas Supreme Court held that proof of actual or constructive fraud is not necessary for the imposition of a constructive trust.

The decedent’s children claimed that the decedent had failed to comply with the property settlement agreement incorporated into the divorce settlement with their mother by diminishing his estate through inter vivos transfers, thus depriving them of the income of his “entire estate” as stipulated in the agreement.

Although unjust enrichment of the beneficiaries of the inter vivos transfers is a sufficient basis for the imposition of a constructive trust in favor of the decedent’s children, the court affirmed summary judgment against the children because they failed to make a timely claim against the decedent’s estate under the Kansas nonclaim statute.


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