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What is Undue Influence

Making an Undue Influence Claim in Indiana 

It is very important to understand the validity of a will, as this document will effectively determine who will earn your property once you pass away. Unfortunately, too many elder individuals sign a will while unduly influenced, and this decision to sign the will can adversely affect the outcome of the document. The will, when signed while unduly influenced, may benefit other individuals as opposed to the testator.

How Can Undue Influence Affect the Testator and the Accused Individual?

Undue influence is considered to be a list of behaviors by one or more individuals, on behalf of the testator, who attempt to undermine the testator's free will. When a testator signs a will while unduly influenced, the will may contain wishes of the individual applying the undue influence instead of the testator. 

How do Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence Coincide?

In general, courts rely on certain indications of undue influence, which include, but are not limited to:

  • The individual accused of undue influence profiting from changes in the will of the testator,
  • The testator's wishes not matching the provisions in the will,
  • The testator's vulnerability of undue influence as a result of cognitive limitations, mental illness, or physical disabilities,
  • The testator's sense of isolation, therefore allowing another individual to gain and control access to information regarding the will, and
  • Confidential relationships.

When an individual grows older, he or she generally becomes weaker mentally and physically, so there may be more tendencies to rely heavily on the influence of family members, friends, and even caretakers.

If an individual caused the testator to go under massive stress, as to lose free will and give in to the wishes of the individual, there may be some indications of undue influence.

Undue influence can also be caused by nagging, threats, verbal abuse, and the individual consulting with the testator's attorney on the will's provisions. The individual may also cause undue influence by paying for the will, holding the original will from the testator, and keeping the testator away from others.

Contact Our Trusted Michigan City, Indiana Probate Litigation Attorneys

If you have any further questions regarding undue influence and how this could adversely impact your will, it is best to contact experienced legal personnel. For over 18 years, attorney Guy DiMartino has represented his clients in probate litigation cases, so you will be guaranteed effective legal representation. Please call a Michigan City probate litigation attorney at 219.690.8997 to get the help you deserve.

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