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Business law ownership issues

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Please analyze the questions below:

1. Smith and Jones each owned a one-half interest, as tenants in common, in a farm called Green Acres. Smith died in 1988. In his will, he left his share of Green Acres to his wife, Joan. In 1991, Jones made a gift of his share of Green Acres to his daughter and son-in-law, Wilhelmina and Beauregard, as tenants by the entirety. Beauregard died in 1994. His will stated that he was leaving his share of Green Acres to his "faithful secretary, Fawn." On these facts, who owns Green Acres? Discuss fully.

2. Eileen Murphy often cared for her elderly neighbor, Thomas Kenney. He paid her $25 per day for her help and once gave her a bank certificate of deposit worth $25,000. She spent the money. Murphy alleged that shortly before his death, Kenney gave her a large block of shares in three corporations. He called his broker, intending to instruct him to transfer the shares to Murphy's name, but the broker was ill and unavailable. So Kenney told Murphy to write her name on the shares and keep them, which she did. Two weeks later Kenney died. When Murphy presented the shares to Kenney's broker to transfer ownership to her, the broker refused because Kenney had never endorsed the shares as the law requires, that is, signed them over to Murphy. Was Murphy entitled to the $25,000? To the shares? Is there a difference between the gift of the certificate of deposit and the shares? Argument for Murphy: The purpose of the law is to do what a donor intended, and it is obvious that Kenney intended Murphy to have the $25,000 and the shares. Why else would he have given them to her? A greedy estate should not be allowed to interfere with the deceased's intention. Argument for the Estate: Murphy is not entitled to the $25,000 because we have no way of knowing what Kenney's intentions were when he gave her the money. She is not entitled to the shares of stock because Kenney's failure to endorse them over to her meant he never delivered them, and that is an essential element of a gift.

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Solution Preview

1 -- Let's look at the pattern of ownership for the farm. Smith and Jones each own half. Smith died and left his half to his wife, Joan. Jones gave his half to his daughter and son-in-law, Wilhelmina and Beauregard, as tenants by the entirety. The son-in-law died and he left his share to his secretary. Who owns the farm?

Smith's wife owns one-half and Wilhelmina owns one-half. The farm was given to the daughter and son-in-law as tenants in entirety, which means that if one spouse dies, the other spouse becomes the owner of the deceased's share. The secretary has no right to the farm due to this clause, even though the son-in-law's written ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses two business law scenarios. The first discussion explains who the legal owners are, of the Green Acres Farm. The second discussion explains if Eileen is entitled to the $25,000 CD or the stock shares that were given to her by her employer and neighbor, Thomas Kenney.

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