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What is undue influence?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2022 | Probate & Estate Planning

Undue Influence

Undue influence is the substitution of the will of a dominant party for the free will and choice of a subservient party.

This issue may arise as grounds for objection to admission of a will of a vulnerable person to probate.

The totality of the circumstances of each case should be examined in order to determine whether a subservient party has been the victim of undue influence.  These factors may include the relationship between the parties, the physical and mental condition of the subservient party, and the opportunity, disposition, acts and declarations of the dominant party.

What are the red flags?

Important factors which make a subservient party particularly vulnerable and which should be considered as “red flags” include isolation and reliance upon the dominant party for daily needs;  rejection and refusal by subservient party to see  friends or family members other than the dominant party;  memory loss, cognitive impairment and impairment of judgment to the subservient party.