Bjork v. O'MearaAnnotate this Case
Bjork was a nurse for Dama’s late wife. O’Meara was Dama’s dentist. Dama, then 90 years old, told Bjork that O’Meara had been asking for money and that “he did not want O’Meara to get everything.” Dama’s banker, Williams, informed Bjork that Dama wanted to name Bjork as death-beneficiary on a bank account and sent Bjork a “Power of Attorney,” signed by Dama. Bjork signed and returned it to Williams. Later, Dama signed a power of attorney, appointing O’Meara as agent, and revoking powers previously granted to Bjork, then executed a will, leaving his entire estate to O’Meara. Bjork and Dama remained in contact by mail, telephone, and visits until shortly before Dama’s death. O’Meara filed the will and was appointed independent representative of Dama’s estate. Bjork filed citation petitions (Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/16-2). After the estate closed, Bjork sued for intentional interference with testamentary expectancy. The circuit court dismissed, citing the six-month limitation period of the Probate Act. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed. Bjork’s tort claim does not implicate concerns regarding certainty in property rights or efficient estate administration. The probate proceeding did not provide meaningful relief and the claim does not seek to invalidate Dama’s will.