Washington Law Review


W. P. F.


In the early 1950's, decedent separated from his wife and began living with appellant. During the subsequent seventeen years decedent, appellant and their four children operated a cattle ranch in Washington. In 1961 profits from that business were used to purchase property known as the Malo farm in the name of decedent. During the following years, appellant participated both in the decisions concerning the farm's management and in its day-to-day operations. Upon the death of the decedent in 1969, his surviving spouse filed a petition for probate of his will. Thereafter appellant filed a petition alleging a partnership interest in the Malo farm. The trial court dismissed appellant's claim for failure to state a cause of action, and the dismissal was affirmed by the court of appeals. The Washington Supreme Court reversed. Held: The survivor of a couple living in a meretricious relationship may establish an implied partnership interest in property by showing the surrounding acts and circumstances of the relationship. In re Estate of Thornton, 81 Wn. 2d 72, 499 P.2d 864 (1972).

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