Case Study regarding a plaintiff that was in a long-term relationship with Anthony Bzura (Tony) that lasted over 40 years, but the two never married.
339305 PELLIE MAE NORTON-CANTRELL V ANTHONY BZURA TRUST AGREEMENT Panel: DBS DAS MFG Lower Court: WAYNE PROBATE COURT, No. 15-811336-CZ Opinion – Per Curiam – Unpublished 20181023_C339305_39_339305.OPN.PDF
Plaintiff was in a long-term relationship with Anthony Bzura (Tony) that lasted over 40 years, but the two never married. When Tony’s health began to deteriorate, plaintiff became his caretaker. According to plaintiff, Tony always promised to “take care” of her, and indeed, plaintiff received assets from Tony totaling over $300,000 in the time leading up to and following his death in June 2015. However, plaintiff believed that Tony’s promises involved a much greater sum, and in July 2015 she filed a claim against his trust for over $2,700,000. The trust disallowed the claim, and plaintiff brought suit in probate court seeking to recover against the trust under a variety of contract theories.
The probate court determined that MCL 700.2514, which provides that a contract to make a will or devise must be in writing, barred plaintiff’s claims. Accordingly, the probate court granted defendant summary disposition.