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GeorgetownLawyr, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12049
Experience:  Experience in Probate matters, including will contests and civil litgation related to estates.
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My wifes grandmother wants to sue her for a ring given to

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My wife's grandmother wants to sue her for a ring given to her 15 years ago by her great grandmother. The greatgrand mother passed away in 98. Does the grandmother have a valid suit should we receive a summons?
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What were the circumstances under which the great grandmother gave the ring to your wife? Did she give it to her in a will or before she passed? Please give a few more details. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she was living with my wife's family before she passed. she knew she was dying and gave my wife her engagment ring. she passed 2 weeks later. Now 15 years later there is a family dispute because the grandmother (daughter of the great grandmother)is hard up for cash, she thinks she can sue us for the ring.

In PA if she had given it to your wife in a will, she would have had one year to file a law suit against your wife but since it was not given by will she may be able to bring a law suit for something called “tortious interference with inheritance.”

She would have to persuade a judge that the great grandmother told her that she was going to leave the ring to her but that your wife used fraud or undue influence to prevent the great grandmother giving her (the grandmother) the ring that if not for your wife's conduct she would have been given the ring.

The difference between going after the ring if it was given by a will is that with the will option she would have been bringing a claim against the estate which would be barred under the statute of limitations but this way she can sue in civil court and ask for punitive damages paid to her from your wife.

Your wife of course gets a chance to present her side of the story to show that she did not commit fraud or use any kind of influence to get her great grandmother to leave her the ring. The judge will then decide.

I know it must seem crazy that she can even bring a law suit after all of this time but PA didn't put a limit on when such a law suit can be filed unfortunately and I am obligated to tell you the truth. So now you can be prepared if she does come and know what you need to prove. I hope this helps clarify and let me know if I can help further.

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