When your loved one gets older, their mental capacities may diminish. They may have periods of clarity spotted with times where they can be easily persuaded. They are particularly vulnerable to people who have power over their daily lives. A case of undue influence is typically brought by loved ones against a caregiver. If you suspect that your loved one’s will was changed by manipulation, talk to an attorney right away.
Characteristics of Undue Influence
While it is common for people to change their wills or trusts multiple times before their death, there are some very big red flags should alert you that something sinister could be occurring. When an individual brings a case for undue influence, they need to show:
- The will or trust distributes assets in a way that is unexpected.
- Your loved one that created the will or trust and the person who will benefit from the change are in a relationship where there is an imbalance of power.
- Your loved one was susceptible to manipulation
- The person who took advantage of your loved one benefits directly from the will or trust.
What Isn’t Undue Influence?
A lot of people infer that there was undue influence merely because another family member talked poorly about another person. While that may persuade the person creating the will or trust, it does not rise to the level of undue influence. The key to undue influence being present is the balance of power between the person benefitting from a change in the will or trust and the person creating it.