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Family Arrangement

otherwise, children, benefit and rights

FAMILY ARRANGEMENT. An agree ment made between a father and his son, or children, or between brothers, to dispose of property in a different manner to that which would otherwise take place.

In these cases, frequently, the mere rela tion of the parties will give effect to bar gains otherwise without adequate consid eration. 1 Chitty, Pr. 67 ; 1 Turn. & R. 13 ; Boyd v. Robinson, 93 Tenn. 1, 23 S. W. 72; De Hatre v. De Hatre, 50 Mo. App. 1.

Such an arrangement may be upheld, al though there were no rights in dispute at the time of making it, and the court will not be disposed to scan with much nicety the quantum of the consideration ; L. R. 2 Ch. 294. It is said that a family arrange ment Is not by itself a valuable considera tion ; Brett, L. C. in Mod. Eq. 294. Wherever doubts and disputes have arisen with regard to the rights of different members of a family (especially when relating to legit imacy) and fair compromises have been en tered into to preserve harmony, they have been sustained, though, perhaps, resting upon grounds which would not have been consid ered satisfactory If the transaction had oc curred between mere strangers ; 2 Dr. & War. 503. The impossibility of estimating money considerations in family arrange ments has led to their exemption from the rules which affect other arrangements ; 7 Cl. & F. 280.

In ordinary cases a father's dealings with his child who has just come of age are open to suspicion, and so are dealings with a re versioner, but if these are in the nature of a family arrangement, the court will regard them, not with suspicion, but with favor ; 2 Giff. 232. It is not essential that the son

should have independent advice, nor will in quiry be made as to how far the father's in fluence was exerted. At the same time any unusual benefit secured to the father will be scrutinized and perhaps expunged ; 41 Ch. D. 200; and only the usual provisions should be inserted. It seems that resettlements un der a family arrangement will justify the ex ecution of a power under which the donee retains some benefit, which would otherwise be a fraud on the power. See 1 Swans. 129. An agreement between the children of a tes tator that the shares of the children shall be considered as vesting at the death of the testator divested of the survivorship clause contained in the will, will be upheld in equity; Ralston's Estate, 172 Pa. 104, 33 Atl. 273.

Evidence of circumstances to show a family arrangement at the execution of deeds is admissible, and a deed otherwise invalid would be good evidence if it formed a component part of such arrangement; Jourdan v. Jourdan, 9 S. & R. (Pa.) 268, 11 Am. Dec. 724. See FAMILY MEETING.