"A contract to devise or bequeath property by will is enforceable in this state. As with other facilities our law affords persons for achieving their wishes, the contract to devise is attended by certain formalities which, if not observed, may result in the contract being legally unenforceable. One of the most important of these formalities is that the contract must be in writing, a function of our statute of frauds. Though a party may satisfy the court of the existence of an unwritten agreement to devise, the statute precludes specific performance as a remedy our courts may decree. This is so even though the promisee has done all he was expected to do under the agreement."
"We are aware that by our construction of . . . the statute of frauds may be made an instrument of fraud. But this is always true, whenever the law prescribes a form for an obligation. The very meaning of such a requirement is that a man relies at his peril on what purports to be such an obligation without that form."