If you are suspicious of the surprising instructions in a loved one’s will, you may have a reason to believe that a person became close to them at the end of their life and tried to manipulate them. This could be a family member that selfishly tried to gain a larger share of the estate, or a new friend that came into their life in recent times.
It is likely that you are upset at the thought of your loved one being manipulated in such a way at the end of their life, and it is likely that you will want to do what you can to make sure that justice is restored. In order to do so, you will need to make sure that you can prove undue influence under the law.
What is undue influence?
Undue influence is when a person uses that influence and power over the will-maker to convince or blackmail them into leaving a higher portion of the estate to them. This could be done through bullying, coercion or simply through the act of nagging or guilt-tripping them. A person should have the right to exercise their free will in regard to the contents of their estate plan, and therefore, any attempt to influence a will is wrongful.
You may be able to prove that a person used undue influence based on the timing of when your loved one updated the will. In addition, if your relative got married when they were in ill health, you may be able to show that the marriage was done with bad intentions.
It is important to take action to successfully prove undue influence. An attorney can help you learn about your legal options.