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tortious interference with expectancy - WA


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#1 noDumbBunny

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:40 PM

I'm not a lawyer so I look at the facts and think "it can't go wrong" but that is not what I keep hearing and I don't understand why...
My father dies intestate in June. I am his only known child (rumors of another have been unfounded for more than 30 years) we were VERY close my entire life. My mother brought three boys into their relationship but my parents were never married. Two of the boys agree with me one is benefitting from the interference so he says he's "staying out of it"
In 2006 my father entereed into an agreement with his half-sister in which she borrowed money from a bank so he could purchase a motor home and live on her property. The loan and title were in her name but he made a payment like clockwork every month until the month he got sick and died.
While my father was still alive and in Hospice she cleaned out his home and locked the door so I couldn't enter. (she has now filed a declaration admitting this) a couple days after he died she left a message for me and said his "estate" was in his car and I needed to come get it. She actually filled his car with dirty nasty moldy garbage (I have pictures and witnesses that smelled it). Eventually when I couldn't move the car soon enough (they messed with the battery) someone tore open the dash, busted the steering column and ignition switch filled it BACK up with the garbage and drove it into the ditch. The car was probably worth $6-800 now it's worth scrap metal.
He lived in a motor home but he always had the newest TV and video equipment. He had some furniture and some household accessories worth about $1500-2000. And he had a cat.
While he was still alive when I found her to be cleaning out his house and packing his stuff I removed things of a personal nature, his blanket, a lamp, some candy bars and diaper wipes, his thermos and cup, his hair clippers. I did not take anything of value because I assumed it would be mine. She had packed my sons toys (ones left at Grampas for visits) into a plastic box when I put it into my truck they threw a fit and accused me of stealing I gave it back before I left.
In addition to all this her nephew is being chrged with felony fraud because he wrote and cashed checks on my fathers account after he died. And now I've heard that he and one of my mothers sons are living in my fathers trailer. I have never been allowed back into my fathers home after his death and now because I have a felony conviction from 2002 I was removed as administrator and I can not speak in open court. The new administrator is a friend doing a favor. My aunt hired a lawyer and he's a bully.
Now it gets interesting please tell me why they can do this:
I opened probate.
They knew I had opened probate but they filed a civil suit outside of probate to secure ownership of the motor home. She states as fact he borrowed $21,000 and owes $8,000 plus storage and maintance fees. I filed a response asking for 1)loan documents 2)time alone in the motor home to grieve with my son and or 3)to dismiss with prejudice.
Now they have filed a creditors claim in probate in which they ask for an additional $12,000 in repairs made to the motor home totaling $22,000. Essentially making the estate insolvant.
How can she sue to ask for the title in civil court but admit in probate court that she entered it and emptied it before he died without permission? And haw can she file a claim when she was seeking ownership 4 weeks prior?
I titled this tortious interference because I am the only heir and she KNOWS this so all of her actions are designed to directly affect my ability to recover his belongings from his home. AND to make sure that I get as little as possible.
I don't neccessarily want the motor home. I want his TV, his heater, his dressers and frying pan and tools, I want the chance to take my son to his home and I want his cat (I haven't mentioned the cat in any documents because I am afraid she will get rid if the cat before she would let me have it)
I think that 1) my aunt paid the loan off at some point but didn't tell my father because she wanted to collect the interest he was paying 2) she believed all along that he would pass before he paid it off and since it is in her name she would get to keep it 3) my aunt has enough money that she doesn't care what it costs now she has to prove that I'm wrong.
Remember her nephew who stole from my dad is now living in his home with my brother.....
And all I want are his personal belongings worth about $800 current retail.
Do you think her interfeance has been tortious? And how can she have two cases pending that have conflicting interests at issue? If she didn't own the moror home why would the estate have to pay for repairs?
I'm at my wits end but now I can't give up because as I understand it an insolvant estate would mean that I would have to sell the few Items I already have?
ugh and thank you

#2 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:10 PM

You didn't mention in what state the probate is taking place, and that matters as the applicable law here is state law. Your subject line mentions WA -- so is it Washington state where the probate is taking place? Generally, though, an action in the probate proceeding claiming that the decedent owed the plaintiff a debt isn't tortious interference with an expected inheritance. As to the action filed outside of probate, the details matter and we don't have that information here. You may wish to see a probate attorney in the state where the probate is taking place for advice, but with just $800 of assets that you are interested in pursuing, it may not be worthwhile to go after.

Note that the estate doesn't owe you any obligation for time to grieve in the home of the deceased. All it is obligated to do is give you what assets you are entitled to receive from the estate after all estate debts are paid.

#3 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:50 AM

It is very difficult to determine if her interference has been tortuous without having the detailed facts. You may want to consult with a local Probate & Estate Administration Lawyer to address your concerns. Many of the lawyers do offer a free consultation.
FindLaw's Legal Heads-Up! newsletter can provide you with the legal resources you need to make informed decisions when law touches aspects of your everyday life.

#4 noDumbBunny

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:38 PM

We had a lawyer but the estate ran out of money and I can't hire one. Yes it is in Washington state. It's not that she files a creditors claim it's that she took EVERYTHING she could get her hands on and is decieving the courts in order to keep it. I was removed as administrator because I have an old felony on my record so last time we went to court I wasn't allowed to speak.
In every way possible she has interfered with my ability to inherit anything. From cleaning out his house and locking me out while he was still alive to destroying his car to filing a frivilous lawsuit and now she is lieing about a possible child no one has ever met. I understand that the "estate" doesn't have to allow me time in his home but it was his home and she locked it without permission from him.
I know this may sound ridiculous and every lawyer says give up because there isn't anything of value but it seems injust that she is acting like she doesn't have to follow the law in so many ways. Also, she has deep deep pockets so she hired a lawyer but if I sue her in small claims court she can not get a lawyer. She would have to keep track of her lies.
I just can't figure out why they filed a complaint and summons alleging a debt on the motor home of $8,000 but before that was determined they filed a creditors notice in probate of $22,000 because they "repaired" the motor home that they haven't proven is theirs?
well thank you though

#5 noDumbBunny

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:16 PM

I think my thought proccess went like this:
I am the only heir and have the only grandchild. So I had clear expectancy of recieving his "estate" upon his death.
She has done everything possible to stop me from getting anything AND she has given his things to other people or sold them or let them take them from his home (which is on her property). When I think of tortious behavior, I think of extremely hurtful or malicious and with intent.
from what I understand this can only be persued once you've run out of options in probate. Now that she and her lawyer have succeeded in removing me as administrator I can only sit back and watch and am getting frusterated that she managed to waste the money I had for a lawyer on frivilous outlandish accusations.
I had hoped that I could file a small claims case so that she couldn't hire a lawyer.
thats what I hoped to get info about...
thanks




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