Tortious Interference with Inheritance Expectancy not recognized in California

     In June of 2010, the California Court of Appeals reviewed a case involving interference with an inheritance expectancy. Petitioner/Appellant James Munn alleges that his sister and brother-in-law interfered with his expected inheritance by using undue influence on their mother. Munn alleges that this undue influence caused his mother to sign a codicil to her will that gave one million dollars each to his siblings and their children. However, no gift was made to Munn's children. 
    However, Munn was unable to challange the validity of the will and codicil admitted to probate court because the codicial contained a no-contest clause. A no contest clause typically  threatens to disinherit a beneficiary of the will if that beneficiary challenges the terms of the will in probate court. Therefore, Munn filed a petition in probate court against his sister and brother-in-law alleging they tortiously interfered with his inheritance expectancy. Munn was unsuccessful in probate court and appealed the judgment. However the California Court of appeals concluded Munn had an adequate remedy to assert his claim in probate court and declined to recognize a cause of actin in tort for interference with an expected inheritance.

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