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What can you do if you suspect undue influence in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2022 | Estate Planning, Probate Administration |

If your elderly parents have written an estate plan, you are probably grateful. After all, trying to figure out their wishes without some guidance can be extremely challenging. Still, if someone has unduly influenced your father and mother, you probably cannot trust the plain language of their estate plan.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social isolation is becoming an increasingly common problem for older Americans. Sadly, isolation may have made your parents more vulnerable to undue influence. If you suspect someone has unduly influenced your mother and father, you can take action to protect both their interests and yours.

Raise your objections

Pursuant to Texas law, an interested party can file a legal action to contest an estate plan. Because you are one of your parents’ heirs, you are probably an interested party. You need to have some evidence of undue influence, though, as the burden of proof is likely to be on you. Remember, Texas law does not automatically presume a vulnerable person, such as a socially isolated one, is a victim of undue influence.

Know the statute of limitations

The law tends to prefer finality, so you do not have forever to object to your parents’ estate plan. In fact, the statute of limitations typically runs two years after the estate enters probate. There are some exceptions to this rule, though, so you should seek legal counsel if you want to contest the estate plan outside the two-year statute of limitations.

Ultimately, rather than standing by and letting an undue influencer get away with his or her bad actions, it is probably time to make some noise.