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3 warning signs that a will could be the result of undue influence

On Behalf of | May 9, 2022 | Estate Planning

A Nevada will or estate plan should concisely and clearly communicate someone’s intentions regarding their affairs in the event of their death. Adults of sound mind with the testamentary capacity to create estate planning documents can draft or update wills, trusts and various other estate planning documents.

Typically, a will is the result of someone’s careful consideration of their family circumstances and wishes. Unfortunately, some estate plans are instead highly influenced by someone other than the testator creating or changing their documents. Undue influence is the legal term to describe what occurs when an outside party tries to pressure a testator into changing their estate plan.

If you notice any of the three issues below, you may have reason to challenge a will based on undue influence.

A conflict between prior statements and current documents

Perhaps the most common reason that people question the validity of a will is that it goes against the testator’s long-established statements about what they wanted to do with their property when they died.

Someone who wanted to split their property among their children and grandchildren who then leaves everything to one family member might make their loved ones question if they really wanted to make that change or felt like they had no choice.

A disruption in relationships in later years

Sometimes, those hoping to receive a large inheritance will manipulate family members for personal benefit. For example, if your parent remarried in their golden years and their new spouse would not let family members come to visit or even connect phone calls or deliver letters, the alienation created by the caregiver could help strengthen their claim that they are the only one who deserves to inherit from the estate.

When you were unable to interact with or communicate with your loved one because of a caregiver, you may have reason to suspect their actions stemmed from greed and a desire for a larger inheritance.

Caregivers inheriting everything

Any change to a long-established estate plan can shock family members, but they will usually accept changes that are obviously the preference of the testator. However, when the changes only benefit one person and that individual had the authority of a caregiver, you may have reason to suspect that they inappropriately influenced the testator into making those changes.

Evidence of undue influence is a valid reason to challenge someone’s will or estate plan in probate court. Knowing when to speak up about an estate plan can protect your inheritance and the intentions of your loved one who recently died.

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