Well, probably not in Georgia. If someone is behind the scenes pulling the strings to “initiate” legal proceedings, then that person – who didn’t actually file a caveat him or herself – may have violated the in terrorem clause.
In the first appearance of Norman v. Gober before the Georgia Supreme Court in 2011, the Court decided that eleven-year-old William Howard Norman, the grandson of Margaret Susan Scheer, lacked standing to challenge Scheer’s will because Norman was not an heir-at-law when the caveat was filed. Norman was a contingent residuary beneficiary under Scheer’s will. In other words, even if Norman’s caveat was successful, he would still take nothing. As the Georgia Supreme Court put it, Norman was not “a person who will be injured by the probate of [the] [W]ill, or who will benefit by its not being probated.” Actually, Norman would have benefited by the probate of the will because it’s the only way he could possibly have had any chance to take a part of Scheer’s estate.
Norman’s mother, however, stood to benefit if the caveat was successful. At the time, the Georgia Supreme Court actually stated that it appeared that the caveat was undertaken for the benefit of Norman’s mother, not him. But, why didn’t Norman’s mother, Lyncia Aynes Norman, file the caveat herself? (more…)