What Is Tortious Interference With An Expected Inheritance?
Few things are more difficult than losing a loved one, but some people are dealt a second blow on the heels of their mourning when they learn that they are no longer a beneficiary in their family member’s will. If you expected to be a beneficiary, it can be jarring to learn that significant changes have been made to the will or estate plan of your family member, particularly if their assets were rerouted to a relative stranger or someone who only recently came into their life. If this scenario is setting off alarm bells for you, it should. It is common for predatory individuals to swoop in and take advantage of the elderly by manipulating or coercing them into changing their estate plan for their own benefit. The good news is that there are legal options available to you that will allow you to hold the guilty party accountable for their reprehensible behavior and get the inheritance that your loved one wanted you to have.
What is Tortious Interference with an Expected Inheritance?
Unlike undue influence claims and other challenges that can be made to a will or estate plan, which are brought in probate court, tortious interference with an expected inheritance is a civil claim that is brought in civil court. This means that you are not limited to bringing this claim during the probate process, and may bring a tortious interference with an expected inheritance claim even after a case has been closed in probate. This claim is appropriate when an individual intentionally interferes with an expected inheritance, and the intended beneficiary suffers damages as a result.
Bringing a Claim for Tortious Interference with an Expected Inheritance
In order to succeed in bringing a claim for tortious interference with an expected inheritance, you must be able to demonstrate that you expected to receive a specific amount of inheritance. If you simply expected to receive an inheritance but have no evidence that the testator ever actually intended to name you a beneficiary in their will, or cannot demonstrate what was originally meant to be left to you, you will not be successful in bringing this claim. On the other hand, if you have a previous version of a will, a letter stating intention, or other evidence that the testator intended to name you as a beneficiary, you will have a strong case for tortious interference with an expected inheritance. You must also be able to show that the new beneficiary intentionally interfered with the testator’s original plans, and that as a result of their intentionally manipulative or coercive conduct, you suffered damages. Damages must be pled with specificity, which is why it is important to have evidence of the testator’s intended bequeathal.
Contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. Today and Schedule a Consultation
If your inheritance has been interfered with, it is not too late to honor your loved one’s wishes and fight for what they would have wanted. Contact Pompano Beach estate & trust litigation lawyer Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule a consultation and find out how he can help you claim your rightful inheritance.