Often before the death, a spouse or someone else in control of assets
attempts to rearrange the assets so that it will benefit them and in
doing so it can interfere with the desires of the decedent.
In these situations, the prospective beneficiaries who have been
damaged have the right to bring a cause of action against the person who
manipulated the decedent's assets.
Some examples of this type of activity include cashing out insurance
policies, paying bills our of one account but not another, removing
funds from one account and transferring them to another in which they
are the beneficiary. Selling or disposing of assets that would go to
one beneficiary and converting them to cash what is distributed in
In a recent appeal over this issue [Saewitz v. Saewitz, 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 29 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. Jan. 4, 2012) [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers / unenhanced version available from lexisONE Free Case Law]] it was made clear that it is not
enough to have shown that someone engaged in this type of wrongful
activity, but also must provide legally admissible evidence of the
damage that was caused to the beneficiaries. Failure to show damages, a
required element of the claim, subjected the case to a directed verdict
and final judgment of dismissal.
If you are considering a claims against someone who has interfered with your expectancy, you should contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer who understands the elements of the cause of action as well as the ability to gather and introduce legally admissible evidence.View more from the Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog.
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