Claiming a Promised Inheritance: A Comparative Study

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

Claiming a Promised Inheritance examines those cases where a person is promised a future inheritance and, having acted on it, later discovers that the promise is unfulfilled. The book structures its analysis and argument around the stories of disappointed promisees and their unfulfilled expectations of a future inheritance, and how they might seek redress. It maps and compares the various, and often very diverse range of legal responses that a promisee can avail herself of across different legal areas of the law (ranging from contract law to property law, employment law, unjust and unjustified enrichment law, and succession law) and in both common and civil law traditions. Braun asks how these responses protect the interests of promisees and whether they are sensitive to the context in which such promises are expressed. In doing so, the focus rests on the level of protection the various forms of redress grant, their scope, and the challenges promisees face when brining a claim, but also on the values and interests that are at stake when granting relief.

This book argues that due to the social and legal context within which promises of a future inheritance are normally made, promisees are usually in a vulnerable position that can easily by exploited. It further argues that the law is usually more acutely attuned to the risks that the promisor incurs and that greater attention should be paid to the challenges promisees face. Claiming a Promised Inheritance thus complements the traditional viewpoint by bringing into focus the (too often ignored) perspective of promisees.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages416
ISBN (Electronic)9780191817199
ISBN (Print)9780198757252
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • promises
  • inheritance
  • expectations
  • reliance
  • enrichment
  • remuneration
  • wills
  • care services
  • farming
  • gender
  • vulnerabilities
  • promisees
  • creditors
  • formalities
  • testamentary freedom
  • civil law
  • common law


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