Foster v. Reiss
Supreme Court of New Jersey
112 A.2d 553 (1955)
Prior to undergoing major surgery in 1951, Ethel Reiss wrote a note to her husband, Mr. Reiss (defendant). The note contained instructions for how to distribute certain possessions of hers, and where to find said possessions. The tone of the note indicated that Ms. Reiss was aware she may die during the surgery, and as a result, she included instructions on where to find her will. The note granted Mr. Reiss access to several of Ms. Reiss’ bank accounts, and distributed smaller possessions to her children. Ms. Reiss died soon after her surgery. Her will granted Mr. Reiss $1, with the rest of her estate to be distributed among her children and grandchildren. Ms. Reiss’ personal representative (plaintiff) then brought this action against Mr. Reiss to recover the money from the bank accounts mentioned in Ms. Reiss’ note to Mr. Reiss. The trial court ruled in favor of Ms. Reiss’ personal representative, stating that no gift had taken place granting Mr. Reiss the money from the bank accounts in question. Mr. Reiss appealed, with the appellate division reversing the trial court’s decision. Ms. Reiss’ personal representative then petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Vanderbilt, C.J.)
Dissent (Jacobs, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 726,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.