Two Ways To Disprove Undue Influence
Wills and trusts are important form the basis of numerous estate plans. While they are important legal documents, they can also be challenged in probate court. If certain people can successfully challenge a will or trust, they may be able to receive part of the estate even if they are not named as beneficiaries. If someone is trying to challenge your loved one’s will or trust, using the argument of undue influence is one way they may do it.
Undue influence is a legal concept that means to overpower the free will of another person using persuasion, duress, fraud, or coercion. Undue influence is a type of emotional and mental abuse and accusations are taken very seriously. If someone has made this claim regarding your loved one’s estate, it is important to know how to fight back against it. Below, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer explains two ways to do it.
Your Loved One Lived Independently and Controlled Their Daily Life
Undue influence typically occurs when one person is in a position of authority over another. For example, a staff member in a nursing home may coerce a resident into changing their will to name the worker as a beneficiary. The person who is being controlled is typically weaker and highly dependent on others.
If you can prove that your loved one lived on their own until the time of their death, this fact can greatly help disprove undue influence. Living independently shows that a person is capable of thinking for themselves and can make their own decisions. This can help prove it is unlikely that they would have become a victim of undue influence when creating or changing their will.
Your Loved One Managed Their Own Financial Affairs
Just as living independently and controlling one’s own life shows capability, so too, does managing one’s financial affairs. The courts often view the ability to handle one’s finances as a sign of mental acuity along with independent thinking that is likely not going to be influenced by another person.
Other Factors that Could Disprove Undue Influence
Along with the two factors above, there are other scenarios and situations that could prove undue influence. Probate litigation is extremely complicated and relies heavily on a full analysis of the facts of the case. For example, if a testator was an executive of a corporation or held a position on a board, these facts could also be used to show that the person had high mental capabilities and was fully able to think for themselves. A St. Petersburg wills lawyer can advise on your case and help you disprove any challenge that arises.
Call Our Wills Lawyers in St. Petersburg for Help
At Legacy Protection Lawyers, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer can advise on your case and help you through the difficult probate litigation process. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help your family.