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What is undue influence?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Working on a loved one’s estate plan is already stressful enough even if everything goes exactly according to plan. Unfortunately, with so many moving pieces in place, this kind of smoothness serves as a rarity.

Other people often get involved where they should not be as well. This is often the case with individuals who try exerting influence over your loved one.

Defining undue influence

The American Bar Association looks at undue influence, a legal term for an act that is all too common when handling aging relatives and their estate plans. Undue influence refers to someone – a relative, friend or caretaker, most often – exerting their influence over an individual in order to change their estate plan in some way.

Generally speaking, the goal of this influencer is to have the estate plan favor them. For example, they may manipulate the individual in a way that results in them changing their will to favor the influencer, such as giving them the bulk of their monetary assets or giving them more power.

The control of an influencer

The influencer in this situation always has selfish motives and aims, and do not care about the person they set out to manipulate. They will often grow very controlling over their target, going so far as to deny the target’s family visitation rights by making up reasons as to why the target can never meet with their loved ones.

In situations like this, legal intervention is often necessary. If you notice the possibility of someone attempting to exert manipulative control, consider contacting legal help in order to protect your loved one from further manipulation.