Undue influence is where pressure or coercion is applied to a will maker which results in the will maker leaving a will that does not reflect their wishes.
Undue Influence is a very common occurrence in today’s society given our aging population and increase in elder abuse. It is important to be aware of circumstances that result in undue influence to ensure your family or friend is not being taken advantage of.
How to identify undue influence:
- Sudden shift towards dependence on one person.
- Influencer begins to intervene in personal relationships.
- Is your loved one being isolated by the influencer from the rest of the family or friends?
- Changes to authority on bank accounts, Power of Attorney or legal representation.
- Meeting with financial planners or legal professionals without including other members of the family or friends who previously were notified and involved in these meetings.
Many instances of undue influence can also be considered Elder Abuse – which we discuss here.
It is important to be aware of how to identify undue influence so you are able to act if you feel it is happening to someone close to you.
There are many scenarios where undue influence can be applied. It is important to notify a solicitor as soon as possible to we can make investigations and try and restore the elderly person’s wishes.
If coercion is established, i.e the will is no longer made of person’s own free will, the court can set aside the will and deem the will invalid.