Undue influence occurs when one person is pressured into doing something that they may not voluntarily want to do. In terms of making a will, undue influence is when a party attempts to gain control over someone else to interfere with the distribution of their assets and property.
Who Is Most Susceptible to Undue Influence?
Sadly, elderly individuals are frequently taken advantage of in this way. Caretakers and family members may attempt to pressure or manipulate an older person to gift or leave certain assets to them.
Forms of Undue Influence
When an individual does not have an opportunity to voice their concerns, but their wishes are being spoken for by a third party.
When a person is physically disabled and relies on someone else to bring them to certain locations, they may be pressured into doing certain things so that the individual will continue to provide their transportation.
A family member may use emotionally manipulative or abusive tactics to force their elderly loved one into giving them certain assets in their will.
When Is Undue Influence Evident?
Often, undue influence is made clear simply by observing the actions of the individuals involved. For example, if an older person is brought into our office and their statements lack coherence—it quickly becomes evident that their mental capacity may be compromised. Then, when a third party begins speaking on behalf of the elderly person wishing to make major changes or modifications to the will, it immediately raises concerns of undue influence.
An Attorney Could Help Protect Your Loved One’s Rights
If you suspect another party is manipulating your elderly family member, you should speak with your loved one’s physician or report it to an elder abuse hotline. Then, contact us. Our team of seasoned legal professionals could help you prove undue influence has taken place and protect your loved one’s true wishes. Call today to speak with one of our compassionate lawyers about your situation.