Defendant, executor of a deceased’s will, appealed from an adverse judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) in an action for damages for the failure of decedent to have a policy of life insurance in force on his life at the time of his death.

Nakase Law Firm defines breach of contract elements California


Decedent and his wife entered into a property agreement where decedent promised to maintain a certain amount of life insurance until his death. Decedent’s daughter was to be the beneficiary, and the policy was to be irrevocable. Decedent eventually let lapse one policy, leaving a deficiency. Upon decedent’s passing, his daughter, as plaintiff, sued and obtained damages in the deficient amount. On appeal, defendant argued that the agreement had been completed once plaintiff married and was acknowledged as such by mutual consent and that Cal. Code of Civil Procedure § 337(1) time barred the suit. The judgment was affirmed. On appeal, the court held that decedent’s support obligations were separate from the agreement, that the obligation was irrevocable, and that there was no consent to termination of that obligation. It also held § 337(1) did not bar the action because the time did not start until the cause of action occurred, which was at decedent’s passing.


The award of damages to plaintiff was affirmed because the decedent’s promise to maintain a set amount of life insurance until his death was irrevocable and separate from his support obligations. Also, the suit was not time barred, as the cause of action did not accrue until decedent’s passing.