How can I prove undue influence during estate litigation?

| Feb 18, 2021 | Probate Litigation

Going through estate litigation after the passing of a loved one can be a very distressing thing to go through. That’s why it’s important that you seek support from friends and those who will advocate for you. Knowing that you are not going through this alone and having a support system that will remind you of why you are doing this is vital.

It’s likely that you intend to go through estate litigation because you believe strongly that your loved one’s true last wishes were not respected, and you want to get justice on their behalf. You may believe that an influential person in your loved one’s life was manipulative or coercive to the point that they convinced them to change their will. This is what is known as undue influence. While undue influence is sadly quite common, it can be difficult to prove. The following are some tips for convincing the courts that your loved one was a victim of undue influence.

The testator was vulnerable

Those in sound body and mind are generally not vulnerable to undue influence, because they can stand their ground and not let a person deceive or manipulate them. However, those who are suffering from dementia or have physical limitations may be more likely to be coerced either through threats or deception.

The relationship intensified quickly

Short-lived, intense relationships are more likely to be ones that involve undue influence. A typical example is that of a caregiver who forms a romantic relationship with an elderly person in order to convince them to change their will.

A natural beneficiary was disinherited unexpectedly

If a natural beneficiary was disinherited unexpectedly, this will likely raise red flags to the courts, especially if the beneficiary was a spouse or a child that had a good relationship with the testator.

If you believe that your loved one’s will was altered as a result of undue influence, it is important that you take action to get justice on their behalf.

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