Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, October 9, 2016

History of Charitable Pledges

Charitable pledgeRecently, Duke University filed a claim against Aubrey McClendon’s estate for payment of almost $10 million in outstanding charitable pledges, raising an issue of whether and to what extent these pledges are legally enforceable. There are three ways that a charitable pledge can be enforceable: bilateral contract, unilateral contract, or under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. Over the last century, the trend for charitable pledges has consistently been to find consideration for enforcement almost as a matter of public policy. A broader interpretation of a qualified consideration gives courts more reason to enforce these charitable pledges. 

See Christina M. Mason & Sean F. McLernon, Enforcing Charitable Pledges, Wealth Management, October 7, 2016. 

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.



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