Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tortious Interference With Expectancy

Johnson_ireneIrene D. Johnson (Professor of Law, Pace University School of Law) has recently authored an article entitled Tortious Interference with Expectancy of Inheritance or Gift--Suggestions for Resort to the Tort, 39 U. Toledo L. Rev. 769 (2008).

Here is an excerpt from the article's conclusion:

It is clear that circumstances exist in which tortious interference with expectancy of inheritance or gift would be the only method for remedying such wrongful interference. In the case of the deprivation of an inter vivos gift, as in Marshall, probate would have little to do with the issue. The same holds true for situations in which the interference is with non-probate at-death benefits. If A expects a benefit under a revocable inter vivos trust and B tortiously induces the settlor to revoke the trust, A's remedy would be in tort. Moreover, in cases involving inter vivos depletion of a testator's probate estate through a tortfeasor's conduct, and the depletion deprives a beneficiary or heir of an expected inheritance, the remedy again would be in tort. The tortious conduct has not interfered with anything in which the probate court would have an interest (will or intestacy), but only with the amount available in the probate estate.


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Have you a link to the article? Or a suggestion on where to get it? Thank you.

Posted by: Patti Spencer | Oct 7, 2008 10:44:05 AM

Tortious interference? ah.. I had a friend of my dying father coerce him into changing his life insurance policy over to them. All done in total secret from me, the daughter who was living there taking care of my father. Total secrecy! They procurred a witness,, that was their friend,and drove him to our house to witness the policy change. It was done in a rush the day after father came home from the hospital. It was so secret, that I did NOT even know there was a policy. They also had a secret Health poa and the witnesses to that were their family members of course. The policy was kept a secret for over a year and i found out after he passed. breach of fiduciary? and is this secrecy enough to be tortious conduct? in court?

Posted by: sandy | Nov 16, 2008 7:47:01 AM

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