Understand and Recognize Undue Influence with Our Help
When a last will and testament is being created, it can be assumed that
the testator is going to act with their own volition, distributing wealth
and assigning property rights to those they see as the most deserving.
It can be no surprise that some people – relatives, employees, close
friends, etc. – might find reasons to disagree with everything in
the will, and that they will want to find a way to change it. They may
try to exercise undue influence upon the testator by intentionally applying
duress or stress to alter the will or simply stop it from being signed
and finalized. It should be noted, however, that undue influence can also
be used to get a will signed if the influencer wants to ensure it doesn’t change.
If a loved one has drafted a will but is making sudden changes to it, you
might have reason to suspect that someone is using undue influence to
get their way. With the help of a Sarasota will and trust litigation attorney
from The Edwards Law Firm, PL, we can start investigating your claims
and defend both you and your loved one from unnecessary duress. Call (800)
896-3619 today to get started.
Forms of Undue Influence
Before you can accuse someone of using undue influence, you need to be
aware of how it can happen. If someone is simply expressing their opinions
– even if they may be damaging to your reputation – they might
not necessarily be using undue influence to get you out of the will. There
usually needs to be some form of inappropriate stress, recognizable intent
to take advantage of an elder’s disabilities, or a direct mention
of wanting to see the will changed, signed, or discarded.
Three of the main ways undue influence may occur include:
Mental: Exploiting the reduced mental capacity of an elder, intentionally causing
psychological harm through hurtful conversations, or misleading information
can be considered mental undue influence.
Moral: Using coercion and consistently bringing the decisions of an elder testator
into question may be forms of moral undue influence with the intent to
have them lose confidence in themselves.
Physical: The most obvious and outward form of undue influence, physical harm or
threats of physical harm may be applied to the testator to change the will.
Keep Your Inheritance Secure – Contact Our Sarasota Probate Attorney
Undue influence that goes unchecked could significantly alter a will and
its original purpose, possibly resulting in the complete removal of certain
parties. If you suspect someone has applied duress to a loved one and
used undue influence to get their way – or if you are being wrongfully
accused of unduly influencing a testator – you need the legal representation
from our Sarasota will and trust litigation lawyer from the Edwards Law
Firm, PL. With a focus on probate law and an unrivaled dedication to her
clients, Attorney Sheryl Edwards can give you the personal attention required
to build a strong case that keeps your best interests in mind.
Contact our firm at your earliest convenience to schedule a case evaluation