What is evidence of undue influence?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2021 | Will Contests

Questions about undue influence may arise once a case once someone passes away. One heir may allege that another used undue influence to have the elderly person alter their will. 

The basic premise of this argument is that the person didn’t want to write their will the way they did, but they felt pressured into it or manipulated into writing it the way the other individual desired. While this idea makes logical sense and can explain why a will is surprising to heirs who expected something else, an heir who alleges undue influence occurred must prove that it happened. 

You may wonder what warning signs to look for to determine whether someone subjected your loved one to undue influence. This knowledge may aid you in deciding whether to contest your loved one’s will.

Someone in a position of authority

Elderly individuals are most apt to have someone subject them to undue influence when they’re dependent on someone else for their care. One sign of potential undue influence is if your loved one’s caretaker withholds medications from them until they make certain changes to their will. 

Recent alterations

You’ll also want to watch out for recent changes to your loved one’s will. If someone drafted a will ten years ago and never touched it, then updated it while in another person’s care a week or two before passing away, then it could be a sign that someone manipulated them into doing so.

Wills that favor one person

Naturally, the most common evidence of undue influence is when alterations favor a single person at the expense of others. It raises a lot of red flags if one heir receives 90% of the estate. 

Determining whether undue influence was at play in your loved one’s case

Suspicions and proof of undue influence aren’t the same. An attorney will want to learn more about your concerns. Your lawyer can then advise you of the legal options that you can pursue in your case.


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