Everything you need to know about undue influence in a Will

When it comes to undue influence in Wills, older adults are more susceptible than most. Discover what undue influence looks like below.
Everything you need to know about undue influence in a Will

You may be wondering, what is ‘undue influence’ when it comes to Wills? Well, ‘testamentary undue influence’ typically refers to situations where a Willmaker is forced or manipulated to draft a Will in a way they did not intend or that goes against their actual wishes.

Who is vulnerable to undue influence?

Undue influence usually happens when the Willmaker is vulnerable, isolated and reliant on others for their care. For this reason, they are usually mentally or physically unwell, elderly, or a combination of the three. Testamentary undue influence also often involves elder abuse.

The subtle signs of undue influence

It’s not easy to spot when undue influence happens. But usually, it can look like the following:

  • Threats of physical violence
  • Psychological or emotional pressure
  • If, at the time of writing their Will, the willmaker might say or think, “This is not my wish, but I must do it” or “I don’t have any other choice”.

Examples of undue influence 

Furthermore, there are some other key signs that undue influence may be at play. This might include:

  • An alarming change in their behaviour
  • Unexpected provisions for certain people in the Will
  • Strangers being interested in the Will
  • Isolation of the Willmaker by caregivers
  • Unexplained, unequal treatment of beneficiaries. 

Wrap up

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find evidence of someone pressuring another to write a Will a certain way. So, when people claim this in court, the court is extra careful. However, if you expect that foul play has occurred in the form of undue influence, be sure to seek proper legal counsel.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.

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