I always fucking miss intended vs. incidental beneficiary questions. Take this one, for example (*spoiler*):
14. (Question ID#778)
In exchange for valid and sufficient consideration, a father orally promised his son, who had no car and wanted a minivan, "to pay to anyone from whom you buy a minivan within the next six months the full purchase-price thereof." Two months later, the son bought a used minivan on credit from a minivan retailer for $8,000. At the time, the minivan retailer was unaware of the father's earlier promise to his son but learned of it shortly after the sale.
Can the minivan retailer enforce the father's promise to the son?
A. Yes, under the doctrine of promissory estoppel.
B. Yes, because the minivan retailer is an intended beneficiary of the father-son contract.
C. No, because the father's promise to the son is unenforceable under the suretyship clause of the statute of frauds.
D. No, because the minivan retailer was neither identified when the father's promise was made nor aware of it when the minivan sale was made.
Incorrect: Answer choice B is correct. The minivan retailer is an intended beneficiary of the father-son contract because the father intended to pay a third party for a minivan on son's behalf. The third party does not need to be specifically identified to be considered intended, and the third party need not be aware of the contract until that party seeks to recover on it. Answer choice A is incorrect because promissory estoppel would only apply if the minivan retailer knew of and relied upon a promise that the father made to the minivan retailer. Here, the father's promise was to the son, not the minivan retailer, and the minivan retailer was unable to rely on a promise about which it was unaware. Answer choice C is incorrect because a suretyship is a promise by one party to a second party to answer for the debt of yet a third party, thereby inducing the second party to extend credit to the third party. Here, the father made no promise that would induce the minivan retailer to give the son a loan, and answer choice C is thus incorrect. Answer choice D is incorrect, despite correctly stating facts which are not relevant to the issue of whether the minivan retailer is an intended beneficiary of the father-son contract. The foregoing NCBE MBE question has been modified to reflect current NCBE stylistic approaches; the NCBE has not reviewed or endorsed this modification.
Ugh. So an intended beneficiary doesn't
have to be named in the K? The party to the K just has to intend to pay a third party?