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Could you please confirm if this friend had a verbal agreement regarding the money with you or your late cousin?
So, he is claiming that you entered into a verbal agreement with him regarding sharing the estate of your late cousin?
A contract can be verbal, implied or confirmed by the conduct of the parties. There is no requirement to have a contract in writing , though it is highly recommended to get it confirmed in writing ,for avoidance of any doubts in future.
Problem with verbal contracts are that if some party backs out or if there is some confusion regarding the terms , then contract can be treated as complete contract, and would remain unenforceable.
Aggrieved party would have to prove the verbal contract by providing any evidence that such a contract existed, in the form of some witnesses in whose presence such contract was agreed, or any other evidence which confirms that both parties agree to terms of the verbal contract.
So, it would not be easy for your friend to prove the verbal contract, if it was not acknowledged by you in all those 5 years that he has waited to take action.
Reply back that no such agreement exists, you never entered into any verbal or written contract with your friend regarding it. Ask them to disclose any evidence they are relying on regarding the contract.
Limitation period to recover monies /debt is 6 years from the date when last payment was made or debt last acknowledged.
It might that this friend might be trying to pull a fast one here, after getting back to you after 5 years regarding a verbal contract.
Yes, if there was any agreement to share the estate, then the limitation period would have started when you received the money.
You are welcome. Have a nice day & stay safe.