A contract is formed when the offerer promises to do or not to do something. Acceptance is the offeree agreeing to do what is requested in the offer. An offer may end in several ways, in particular, by the death of the offerer or offeree. In order for the agreement to be effective both parties to contract must give consideration, the offer must be serious, and clearly stated. The promise Elvis Presley made prior to Jo Laverne Alden prior to his death may be enforceable in court by applying the equity doctrine of promissory estoppel. His promise is not supported by consideration but it would be unfair for his estate not to enforce his promise.
Elvis made several gratuitous promises to Mrs. Jo Laverne Alden the mother of his finance Ginger Alden, one of which was to pay off the mortgage debt owed on the Alden’s home. Unfortunately, he died before his promises were consummated and his legal representative denies liability to execute the agreement from the Elvis estate. Jo Laverne Alden filed a lawsuit against Elvis Presley’s estate because she relied upon the promise to her detriment and took necessary action to assume the entire mortgage debt and equity from her husband. The estate of Elvis should enforce his promise because the offer was serious and clearly stated prior to his death. However, Elvis’s promise is unsupported by consideration but it would be unfair not to enforce the promise since the result could lead to harsh result. Mrs. Alden has a legal right to be awarded a judgment on the theory of promissory estoppel.
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