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Undue Influence, Part One

Undue influence occurs when someone might coerce or place pressure on another person to change his or her estate plan so that he or she benefits. Today, our estate lawyer in Cary NC is here to discuss this matter further and offer signs that might mean undue influence in estate planning.
Signs of Undue Influence | Estate Lawyer Cary NC
If you suspect a loved one is being pressured to make changes to his or her estate plan by someone exerting undue influence, here are some questions to ask your loved one if he or she is cognizant of the situation.

  • Is anyone making special requests regarding your financial plans that has never had input before?
  • Has anyone asked you to change something without consulting another family member, or asked you to keep it a secret?
  • Has anyone urged you to not talk about estate planning with anyone other than your lawyer?
  • Has anyone insisted on meeting with you and your estate lawyer in Cary NC about your estate plan?

Factors That Can Prove  Undue Influence
If you approach the courts about your concerns over undue influence and the validity of your loved one’s will, there are factors they will look into to determine if it is valid. The courts will look at the activities of the beneficiary and the relationship between that person and the deceased. Here are a few questions that may be asked to determine if undue influence was used.

  • Was the beneficiary present when the will was executed?
  • Did the beneficiary know the contents of the will before it was officially disclosed?
  • Was the attorney who drafted the will recommended by the beneficiary?
  • Were the witnesses brought in by the beneficiary?

If a will is challenged for its validity because someone believes undue influence was exerted over the testator, the court may deem all or part of it invalid. The assets may go to intestate succession, which may be how the assets are divided when there is no will. Unfortunately for the deceased, his or her original wishes may not be carried out if they differ from state laws regarding intestate succession.
To learn more, check back with our next blog post.
Estate planning is one of the most important parts of life that often times get overlooked. If you've yet to begin planning or haven't updated in a while it might be time to think about doing so.  Just contact our estate lawyer in Cary NC to begin estate planning, today. As always, for more information from Eldreth Law Firm, PLLC be sure to visit back with us, soon! If you have any questions, contact us concerning any and all estate planning concerns!
Eldreth Law Firm | Estate Lawyer Cary NC
Are you looking for an estate lawyer in Cary NC that can help you?  Contact Eldreth Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation with us to get started with your estate plan. We are here to help you with all your legal matters, whether it be estate planning, trademarking, copyrighting, or DWI issues.

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