Losing a loved one is hard. While you struggle to find a way to cope with the emotional fallout of your loss, things can be made worse when your loved one’s estate plan doesn’t unfold as expected. If you feel like you’ve been unfairly cut out of a will, then as difficult as it may be to do in the face of loss, you may need to consider legal action.
To appropriately address these matters, you need to be on the lookout for signs of undue influence. If you can prove such influence, then you might be able to invalidate a will and secure the inheritance that was intended for you. Here are some indications of undue influence:
- The influencer had power over your loved one, such as by serving as his or her sole caretaker.
- Drastic changes were made to your loved one’ estate plan, which probably benefited the influencer and disadvantaged you.
- The influencer was present when the will was drafted.
- The influencer identified witnesses to be at the will’s signing.
- Your loved one became more isolated once the influencer came into the picture.
- The influencer gave directions to an attorney who assisted in drafting the will in question.
These are just a few of the many signs of undue influence. In order to spot them, though, you need to keep your ears and eyes open while remaining aware of the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s estate plan.
In order to succeed in challenging a will through probate litigation, you’ll need much more than mere allegations. You’ll need evidence to support your claims, which means that you need to be thorough in your preparation before moving forward with a legal claim. Therefore, you might need to question critical witnesses and analyze relevant documents to better determine how best to craft your arguments. If you’ve seen some of the red flags identified above and feel like you were cheated out of your inheritance, then you might want to discuss the matter with your attorney.