Intentional interference with expected inheritance (IIEI) was recognized as a legal claim in California about eight years ago in Beckwith v. Dahl (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039. Last week, the Court of Appeal issued the first published opinion in California that affirms a judgment in favor of a plaintiff on an IIEI claim, thus providing guidance to trial judges and lawyers about what evidence is sufficient to sustain such claims.
In Gomez v. Smith (2020) ___ Cal.App.5th ___, the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento considered a ruling by a Shasta County Superior Court judge. The judge concluded that the plaintiff should receive the benefit of a trust instrument that her late husband wanted to execute because two of his children precluded him from meeting with his lawyer to sign it. We have written previously of conflicts between stepmothers and stepchildren – this is just such a tale with its own dramatic twists. Continue Reading