What Is Undue Influence in Estate Planning? Part Four

When someone puts pressure on another person in a situation with legal significance, it is called undue influence. It is often used in the context of estate planning in Raleigh NC, or more specifically, writing a will. When someone writes a will and has been pressured by another person, such as a family member or caregiver, to write it in such a way that he or she benefits, it is considered undue influence.

How to Prove Undue Influence | Estate Planning in Raleigh NC

Welcome back. We are here today to discuss final information on undue influence. If you missed previous blogs, visit back with them before moving on.

Factors that can prove it

If you approach the courts about your concerns over undue influence and the validity of your loved one’s will, there are factors they will look into to determine if it is valid. The courts will look at the activities of the beneficiary and the relationship between that person and the deceased. Here are a few questions that may be asked to determine if undue influence was used.

  • Was the beneficiary present when the will was executed?
  • Did the beneficiary know the contents of the will before it was officially disclosed?
  • Was the attorney who drafted the will recommended by the beneficiary?
  • Were the witnesses brought in by the beneficiary?

If someone steps in because Aunt Sue was taken advantage of, he or she will need to show that the niece did use undue influence in order to benefit from her estate. If the niece did any of the things listed above, it is likely she will be seen as liable.

If a will is challenged for its validity because someone believes undue influence was exerted over the testator, the court will deem all or part of it invalid. The assets will go to intestate succession, which is how the assets are divided when there is no will. Unfortunately for the deceased, his or her original wishes may not be carried out if they differ from state laws regarding intestate succession.

If you missed our previous blog, be sure visit back with it, for more information.

Klish and Eldreth, PLLC

Estate planning in Raleigh NC is important. It’s a way to ensure your loved ones are cared for after you’ve passed. It’s also a way to distribute your belongings to specific loved ones as well. It’s important that one not pass without this document. Contact us to start planning, today.

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