“It’s All Greek to Me”: Tortious Interference with a Testamentary Expectancy
A tortious interference with a testamentary expectancy is a wrongful act (also known as a “tort”) which causes economic harm to another person. In the context of an estate, the tort occurs when an individual prevents a beneficiary from receiving all or part of the gift that was intended to be left for them by the decedent in his/her Will.
In order to establish a claim for tortious interference with a testamentary expectancy, one must be able to prove a) that the decedent intended to leave a given portion of his/her estate to the specific beneficiary and b) that the decedent would have left those assets to the beneficiary were it not for the intentional actions of the defendant (also known as the “tortfeasor”).
It is important to note that courts generally will only allow for tort claims in regard to an inheritance when no alternate probate remedies are available to the plaintiff. If you would like to review your options for probate litigation, the highly-trained and experienced trust and estate attorneys at Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. can advise you. Call us at (941) 906-1231 to set up an appointment.