Who can exert undue influence over someone creating a will?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Probate Litigation |

An estate plan or will should be an accurate reflection of an individual’s last wishes. People can decide how to split their property among their loved ones and establish a meaningful, lasting legacy based on their own thoughts, not the desires or demands of other people. 

The sad truth is that some adults will have their plans undermined by the manipulative or abusive behavior of others. Undue influence involves someone other than the testator applying pressure to obtain certain terms in the estate plan. Numerous different people might be in a position to exert undue influence on someone who is older or dealing with health issues. 

A spouse

Especially in scenarios involving a recent remarriage or a relatively new relationship, the spouse someone with serious health concerns might exert undue influence on them. They might try to alienate someone from the rest of the family and manipulate that person into changing their life-long estate plans for the benefit of one individual. 

A child or a grandchild

It is common for children and grandchildren to actively support older adults with health concerns. Especially in cases involving cohabitation, the younger family members could pressure or manipulate the person in their care for future financial gain. 

Anyone serving as a caregiver

For children and spouses, it is often a caregiver role that grants them the authority to exert undue influence over a vulnerable adult. Someone with control over a person’s food, socialization or pain medication can easily use that control for nefarious purposes. 

Identifying warning signs of undue influence can help you protect aging loved ones or challenge a questionable estate plan in probate court.