Unjust Enrichment and Constructive Trusts
“Unjust enrichment” occurs when someone seeks an award of money or property because a deceased person was enriched at their expense without a legal reason. If this can be tied to specific property, a “constructive trust” may form over the property, giving the contributor an interest in the property.
You need to prove:
- you enriched the deceased person;
- you were deprived of something, possibly money, time or, effort; and
- there was no juristic (legal) reason.
An unjust enrichment case can occur in several circumstances, including:
- taking care of an elderly friend or relative without pay for an extended period of time prior to their death;
- performing work for someone without pay prior to their death;
- contributing to the maintenance or mortgage of a house; or
- performing housekeeping for someone without pay prior to their death.