Tortious Interference & Sibling Rivalry in Probate Litigation
Is your brother or sister “messing” with your inheritance? If so, can you sue them in a Florida probate court ? Can you sue a sibling for tortious interference of your inheritance if your sibling convinced your dad to write you out of his Florida will? You may have heard of tortious interference but do you know when you have a strong claim for it in probate litigation?
In Florida, you can file a claim known as “tortious” interference with an inheritance or expectancy. To win a trial on tortious interference with an expectancy in Florida, you usually have to prove an expectation of an inheritance, and someone causing interference such that you were damaged. This inheritance lawsuit can involve a revocable trust, a will or a bank account or joint account.
Slosberg v. Giller, a June 6, 2017 opinion from the Court of Appeals of Georgia, discusses a claim for tortious interference. Although this is not a Florida trust and estates case, Palm Beach and Delray Beach trust lawyers frequently encounter very similar lawsuits. Here, siblings fight over claims regarding probate fraud after their father changes his power of attorney and estate planning strategy. The son sues the daughters arguing that the father’s actions were the product of undue influence and diminished mental capacity. The daughters asserted counterclaims against the son for defamation, tortious interference, declaratory judgment, and equitable relief. The daughters claim that the son tortiously interfered with the administration of the father’s IRA and trust accounts. Furthermore, the sisters argued that the son tortiously interfered with the performance of their duties under their powers of attorney. What did the appellate court have to say about this? To read the entire case, click here