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Is this undue influence?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When dealing with estate planning, there are many potential issues that may arise, including the possibility of someone exerting undue influence.

But what is this? What does it mean for a victim? What does it mean for the estate and for everyone else involved?

The goal of manipulation

Cornell Law School discusses undue influence. In short, this is a form of manipulation that involves at least two people: a manipulator and a victim. Though multiple manipulators may work together, this is a rarer occasion.

The goal of this manipulation – at least in relation to estate planning – is usually one of two things. The manipulator either wants to gain more control over the victim’s estate, or want a larger share of assets. They get this by having the will rewritten or getting the privileges and responsibilities of an estate executor.

Potential targets

Many times, they target victims who already have weaknesses, such as those with memory-degrading illnesses like dementia. They will often get the victim alone, separating them from their loved ones and family through deception and trickery, like pretending the victim can never talk due to a busy schedule. They may even disallow the victim to have one-on-one conversations with their loved ones in order to limit the outside influence that other people can have on them.

They then use this control and isolation to talk their way into more power or to convince or even outright trick a victim into signing away their rights.

Fortunately, it is possible to take action against manipulators who would exert their control over a victim in such a way. It is important to contact legal aid to act properly.