What should you know about undue influence?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Probate |

When dealing with the probate process, it is also possible to deal with manipulators who have something they want to gain out of it.

These manipulators may try to use numerous tactics against an individual in order to gain one or several things from an estate plan, so it is important to know how to recognize the red flags.

Why do aggressors do this?

Cornell Law School discusses undue influence in relation to estate planning. Undue influence specifically involves at least two parties: the grantor, who serves as the victim, and the aggressors who often aim to manipulate the victim.

Aggressors will target estate plans for many reasons. They may want a bigger share of the estate through the will. They might wish to have more control over the estate plan itself and could wish to try forcing their way into this position by gaining power as an executor.

Tactics they may use

They use many tactics to pull this off. For example, they may try to isolate their target from their relatives and loved ones. This gives the target a skewed perspective, as they can only rely on information from the manipulator with no one else to combat or challenge it.

They might also wait until the grantor is in a weakened or vulnerable state, which is why many grantors with memory loss such as those with dementia end up targeted.

This is why it is important for the families of grantors to pay careful mind to any sudden or unexpected changes, such as the addition or subtraction of family members from a will. It could indicate a much bigger problem.