This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
In Michigan it is said that the beneficiary can sue only upon marriage settlements which involve trusts for the children of the marriage.1 If a contract is made between a board of commerce and a manufacturing company, for the benefit of a number of persons who have contributed to the fund which the chamber of commerce has raised for such manufacturing company, such beneficiaries can not maintain an action upon such contract.2 A contract between A and B, who are husband and wife, by which each agreed to insure his life for the benefit of their children, can not be enforced by the children; and if A changes the beneficiary in such insurance policy after B's death, C has no remedy in law or in equity.3 If A makes a promise to B, that in consideration of B's surrendering A's note to A, A will pay a note which B has given to C, C can not enforce such promise against A;4 and if A agrees with his brother, B, that in consideration of an exchange of realty A will give a bequest to his niece, C, C can not maintain an action upon such contract in the absence of statute.5 It is assumed, however, that a provision of the Judicature Act6, to the effect that an action is to be brought by the real party in interest, changes this rule in Michigan, and gives a substantive right to the beneficiary. It is conceded, however, that such a statute is not a mere matter of procedure and that it can not authorize C to sue upon a contract for C's benefit, which was made before such statute was enacted.7 If B advances money to A, in consideration of A?s promise to pay such money to C, and such promise is evidenced in a note secured by a mortgage, which is payable to C, C may enforce such contract.8
11 Field v. Crawford, 72 Mass. (6 Gray) 116.
12 Gardner v. Denison, 217 Mass. 492, 51 L. R. A. (N.S.) 1108, 105 N. E. 350.
13 Gardner v. Denison, 217 Mass. 492, 51 L. R. \. (N.S.) 1108, 105 N. K 359.
1 Knights v. Sharp, 163 Mich. 449, 33 L. R. A (N.S.) 780, 128 N. W. 780 (obiter).
2 Board of Commerce v. Security Trust Co., -225 Fed. 454, 140 C C. A. 486 (Mich.)
3 Knights v. Sharp, 163 Mich 449, 33 L. R. A. (N.S.) 780, 128 N. W. 786.
4 Clay Lumber Co. v. Hart's Branch Coal Co., 174 Mich. 613, 140 N. \V. 912.