Shakespeare v. Prince

Shakespeare v. Prince, 129 So.3d 412 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013)

This opinion deals with the entry of a judgment for monetary damages on two counts: (1) breach of an antenuptial agreement, and (2) tortious interference with an expectancy.  The Court held that neither count was supported by record evidence based on the following facts:

The decedent and her husband entered into an antenuptial agreement when they married in order to maintain their assets separately.  When they purchased a home, they used a portion of the decedent's premarital assets, and the home was transferred into her individual name.  When she created her revocable trust, her husband waived his homestead rights and the home was transferred into the trust.  Years later, the husband prepared a quit claim deed transferring the house from the trust to the couple as tenants by the entireties, and the wife executed the deed.  The decedent's son alleged that his mother did not understand the deed when she signed it, and that it was her intent for the husband to have a life estate in the home and for him to receive the remainder.

The probate court reformed the dead and that reformation was upheld.  However, the probate court also awarded damages to the estate for breach of the antenuptial agreement and to the son for tortious interference with an expectancy.  The Court held that neither award for damages was supported by evidence in the record, primarily because the son failed to introduce evidence showing the difference between the value of the life estate in the home and the value of the future interest.  It also found that the damages to the estate for breach of the antenuptial agreement were completely inappropriate since the home was an asset of the decedent's trust and not her estate.

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