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
Fore! California Court Drives Away Claim that Trustee’s Attorney Breached Trust
When attorneys advise errant trustees, how vulnerable are they to breach of trust claims by injured beneficiaries? A case published last week by the California Court of Appeal provides a defensive roadmap to attorneys who are sued for such claims, along with an occasion for golf metaphors.
In Cortese v. Sherwood (2018) 26 Cal.App.5th 445, the appellate court ruled that attorney John Sherwood was protected by California Civil Code section 1714.10, which was enacted in 1988 to combat the use of frivolous conspiracy claims brought as a tactical ploy against attorneys and their clients. Since the plaintiff failed to obtain the court’s approval before suing the attorney, as the statute required, she could not bring her claim against him. She could not get off the first tee.…
Stepmother vs. Stepchild, Now Playing in a California Probate Court Near You
Stepmothers are frequent characters in California trust and estate litigation, as they are in fairy tales and Disney movies. With about half of all marriages ending in divorce, there are many stepmother/stepchild relationships. Mostly they work out fine, but some go south.
After blogging on sibling conflicts as a driver of trust and estate disputes, I offer thoughts today about the litigation I see between stepmothers and stepchildren. In Family Feud parlance, my personal survey says that step-parent relationships are a close second to sibling relationships as the setting of trust and estate litigation. I’ll focus on stepmothers here, though of course stepfathers also often clash with their stepchildren.…