Important Cases and Secondary Sources
Florida Probate Litigation Cases
The following links are to important Florida probate litigation cases involving undue influence and tortious interference. Click on the individuals links to read the cases.
Undue Influence Cases
The following cases are important Florida probate litigation cases in the area of undue influence.
- Blinn v. Carlman 159 So.3d 390 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) – spousal undue influence
- Carter v. Carter 526 So.2d 141 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988) – a person who procures a will in order to favor a third person may still be guilty of undue influence even if he was not made a substantial beneficiary
- Gardiner v. Goertner 110 Fla. 377 (Fla. 1932) – undue influence is proved via circumstantial evidence
- In re Donnelly’s Estate 137 Fla. 459 (Fla. 1938) – “A very wide range of testimony is permissible on the issue of undue influence. This is due to the fact that undue influence seldom can be shown except by circumstantial evidence. It results from the circumstances and surroundings of the testator and his associations with the person or persons exercising the undue influence. For this reason it is proper, on this issue, to consider the testator’s dealings and associations with the beneficiaries; his habits, motives, feelings; his strength or weakness of character; his confidential, family, social, and business relations; the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the will; his mental and physical condition at the time the will was made; his manner and conduct; and generally every fact which will throw any light on the issue raised by the charge of undue influence.”
- In re Estate of Carpenter 253 So.2d 697 (Fla. 1971) – seminal undue influence case in Florida establishing the “Carpenter Factors” for active procurement which, when coupled with a confidential relationship and substantial benefit, create a presumption of undue influence
- In re Starr’s Estate 125 Fla. 536 (Fla. 1935) – articulate elements of cause of action for undue influence
- Wehrheim v. Golden Pond 905 So.2d 1002 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005) – any part of a will procured through undue influence is void. This case was superseded by Fla. Stat. s. 732.5165.
To read more about undue influence, click here.
Tortious Interference with an Inheritance Cases
The following cases are important Florida probate litigation cases in the area of tortious interference with an inheritance.
- Allen v. Leybourne 190 So.2d 825 (Fla. 3d DCA 1966) – recognizes tort in Florida
- Cooke v. Cooke 278 So.2d 683 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973) – jury instructions for tortious interference in Florida
- Davison v. Feuerherd 391 So.2d 799 (Fla. 2d DCA 1980) – adopted Restatement (Second) Torts 774B, tortious interference with expectancy, in Florida
- DeWitt v Duce 408_So.2d_216 (Fla. 1981) – Supreme Court affirmation of Allen and Davison cases; addresses when probate remedy is not adequate.
- Restatement Second of Torts 774B – recognizes cause of action of tortious interference with an expectancy or inheritance
- Whalen v. Prosser 719 So.2d 2 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998) – dicta in case compares tortious interference to a derivative action where disappointed beneficiary sues tortfeasor for undue influence practiced upon decedent/testator
To read more about tortious interference, click here.
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