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Claveloux v. Bacotti

778 So. 2d 399 (2001)

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Claveloux v. Bacotti

Florida District Court of Appeal

778 So. 2d 399 (2001)

Facts

Christine Claveloux (plaintiff) was the only child of Anna McGloin. Following the death of McGloin’s husband, McGloin’s physician found her to be incompetent. Shortly after, Joseph Bacotti (defendant), McGloin’s nephew, inserted himself in McGloin’s life and finances. In under two weeks, McGloin transferred all the funds in her bank accounts from joint accounts with Claveloux into joint accounts with Bacotti. After McGloin’s estate attorney refused to alter her will, Bacotti arranged for another attorney to execute a new will for McGloin. McGloin’s original will had left her entire estate to Claveloux, but the new will instead left all her tangible property to Bacotti and then split the residuary estate between Bacotti and the American Heart Association. A few months later, McGloin’s condition deteriorated further, and the circuit court issued letters of emergency guardianship for McGloin appointing the Lutheran Ministers of Florida as her plenary guardian. McGloin’s doctor stated there was little chance McGloin’s condition would improve. Although McGloin still lived, Claveloux filed suit against Bacotti for tortious interference with her potential inheritance rights, arguing that Bacotti’s influence over McGloin caused McGloin to disinherit Claveloux and that Bacotti played an active role in procuring the new will. Bacotti moved to dismiss, arguing that Claveloux failed to state a cause of action because McGloin was still alive. The circuit court dismissed Claveloux’s action, and Claveloux appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Northcutt, J.)

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