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What is Undue Influence, and How Does it Relate to Estate Planning? 

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Family Law Blog

lombard estate planning lawyer Estate planning is an important process involving various decisions about how a person’s assets will be distributed after death. However, there are situations where the estate planning process can be influenced by outside parties, which can lead to serious legal challenges. One such situation is undue influence. Today, we will discuss what precisely undue influence is and how it can affect estate planning. For any questions or concerns regarding estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney to ensure the process is followed lawfully.

So, What is Undue Influence, and What Factors Can Help Establish Its Existence? 

Undue influence is a legal concept that refers to situations where a person is coerced or manipulated into making decisions that are not in their best interests. For example, in estate planning, undue influence can occur when someone uses their power or influence to pressure a person into making decisions about their assets that they would not have made otherwise. 

Undue influence can be challenging to prove, but certain factors can be used to establish a case. These factors include:

  • Vulnerability of the person – If the person making decisions is vulnerable, such as being elderly, ill, or mentally incapacitated, they may be more susceptible to undue influence. 

  • Opportunity for influence – If the person making the decision is isolated or dependent on the person exerting influence, there may be an opportunity for undue influence. 

  • Actions of the influencer – If the person exerting influence is aggressive, controlling, or uses threats or intimidation, this can be evidence of undue influence.

  • Changes in the person’s decision-making – If the person making the decisions suddenly change their mind about their estate plan without a reasonable explanation, this can be a sign of undue influence.

If undue influence is proven, the estate plan can be invalidated, and the assets will be distributed according to the person’s previous estate plan or estate law. Legal action can also be taken against the person exerting undue influence.

To prevent undue influence from occurring in estate planning, it is essential to take specific steps, including:

  • Ensuring that the person making the decisions is of sound mind and capable of making decisions.

  • Discuss the estate plan with family members and other interested parties to ensure everyone is aware of the decisions.

  • Working with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide and ensure the estate plan is legally valid. 

Contact a Lombard, IL Estate Planning Attorney

Contact the skillful DuPage County estate planning lawyers with A. Traub & Associates for questions and concerns about estate planning. Call 630-426-0196 for a private consultation.



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