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What Is Undue Influence in Estate Planning? Part Three

Undue influence occurs when someone coerces or places pressure on another person to change his or her estate plan so that he or she benefits. In the first post in this two-part series, we talked about how it can happen and factors needed to prove it occurred while estate planning in Cary NC.

Undue Influence and Estate Planning in Cary NC

We talked about Aunt Sue, who was taken care of by her niece in her old age. Her niece moved in with her and then talked her into changing her will so that she benefited from it over her other cousins. Originally Aunt Sue wanted to leave money evenly to all of her nieces and nephews because she never had children of her own.
Whether Aunt Sue suffers from the early signs of dementia, or just from being a nice lady, she could easily be pressured by her niece into making changes to her will that she did not want. In many cases, the elderly are easily susceptible to being talked into doing things they do not want to do in order to please their loved ones, or simply because they may not have the mental clarity to know any better.
Signs of undue influence
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 in Cary NC with anyone other than your lawyer?
  • Has anyone insisted on meeting with you and your lawyer about your estate plan?

In the case of Aunt Sue, her niece probably attempted to keep everyone else in the family out of her legal affairs by saying that she had a lawyer who was taking care of things. She also probably urged Aunt Sue not to talk to others about her plans for the estate and her finances.
To learn more, visit back with our next blog post. If you missed our previous blog, be sure visit back with it, for more information.
Eldreth Law Firm, PLLC
Estate planning in Cary NC is important. It’s a way to ensure your loved ones are cared for after you’ve passed. It’s also a way to distribute your belongings to specific loved ones as well. It’s important that one not pass without this document. Contact us to start planning, today.
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