IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF LOIS B. ERICKSON, deceased.
ALAN D. ERICKSON, MARY ANN WARD, LEAH ERICKSON, LISAH ERICKSON, COOPER WARD, LUKE ERICKSON AND LAUREN ERICKSON and ALL UNKNOWN AND UNBORN BENEFICIARIES, Respondents-Appellees. WAYNE ERICKSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Steven J.
Erickson appeals a ruling finding his mother's 2011 will
invalid based on undue influence and lack of testamentary
capacity and finding him liable for tortious interference
with a bequest. AFFIRMED.
Patrick J. Riley and Peter C. Riley of Tom Riley Law Firm,
P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
L. Green of Nading Law Firm, Ankeny, for appellee Estate of
Lois B. Erickson.
Cunningham of Cunningham & Kelso, P.L.L.C., Urbandale,
for appellees Unknown and Unborn Beneficiaries.
Matthew G. Sease of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, for
appellees Mary Ann Ward, Cooper Ward, and Christina Ward.
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE
to his mother's estate contends the district court erred
in (1) finding him liable for intentional tortious
interference with a bequest, (2) assessing all the
estate's attorney fees against his share of the estate,
(3) denying his motion to continue, (4) precluding him from
testifying as a discovery sanction, and (5) finding a 2011
will invalid based on lack of testamentary capacity and undue
Background Facts and Proceedings
Erickson executed two wills before she died in 2015-one in
2010 and another in 2011. Her 2010 will divided her estate
equally among her three children-Wayne Erickson, Alan
Erickson, and Mary Ann Ward. Her 2011 will left the vast
majority of the estate to Wayne.
home and living conditions deteriorated over time. Alan and
Mary Ann petitioned for the appointment of a guardian and
conservator. On learning of the petition, Wayne had a codicil
to the 2011 will drafted. The codicil provided that anyone
who contested the 2011 will "shall reimburse my son,
Wayne D. Erickson, at the rate of $1, 500.00 per hour."
Lois signed the codicil two days before a
guardianship/conservatorship hearing and gave Wayne power of
attorney one day before the hearing.
contested the appointment of a guardian and conservator and
objected to a medical evaluation of Lois. The physician who
evaluated her diagnosed "moderate to severe"
Alzheimer's. The court ordered Alan to serve as Lois'
guardian and named a bank as conservator.
Lois died, Alan filed a petition to probate the 2010 will.
The court admitted the 2010 will to probate. Two months
later, Wayne filed a "petition to set aside probate of
[the 2010] will and declaratory judgment to determine last
will." Wayne asserted, "[T]he [2010 will] is not
the most recent Last Will and Testament of Lois B. Erickson.
The [2011 will] is the Last Will and Testament of Lois
Erickson and as such should be the Will being administered
and probated." Mary Ann and her two children filed a
counterclaim against Wayne for tortious interference with a
parties stipulated the issue for trial was the validity of
the 2011 will. The stipulation was memorialized in a court
order. Following a bench trial, the district court found the
2011 will invalid based on undue influence and lack of
testamentary capacity. The court also found Wayne liable to
Mary Ann and her children for tortious interference with a
bequest. Finally, the court ...