Manipulation and deceit often are key factors behind the undue influence of a person who has created or revised his or her will. And this also marks the moment to challenge a will. Think about what happened when you learned that your father plans to leave a good chunk of his estate to your stepmother and her children, while you and your siblings gain a nod and a pittance.
An abrupt change to the will of a vulnerable person should get immediate scrutiny. You suspect that your father may have been persuaded, influenced and bullied into making these changes, perhaps even under duress. Now, it is your duty to challenge the will. Undue influence represents one of several reasons to do so.
Trust people turned into perpetrators
In many similar situations, undue influence regarding an estate plan has direct ties to elder abuse. Perpetrators can come disguised as trusted individuals such as family members and other relatives. They may see opportunities to turn around their less-than-stellar financial lives or, on the other hand, simply want to add more money to their already existing fortune simply out of pure greed.
However, the bottom line is that these people try to take advantage of vulnerable people, many of whom are elderly.
Two other reasons to challenge a will have direct ties to undue influence. These include when a person is not of sound mind as well as fraud. Manipulation and coercion also happen in these situations.
If you recognize undue influence in your parent’s estate plan while he or she remains alive, it is best that you immediately intercept these dealings and swiftly take legal action. It could prevent a long, drawn-out legal battle. And make sure to do the same in challenging the will under similar circumstances upon the death of your parent.