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Avoiding undue influence claims in your will

Creating a will or a trust is as much about planning the legacy that you will leave for future generations as it is about achieving a peace of mind for yourself so that you know everything will be taken care of at the end of your life. In this way, it is natural for people to be concerned about relatively common problems that occur in relation to wills, trusts and probate. One of these issues is when loved ones appeal against the conclusion of the will based on the grounds of undue influence.

What is undue influence?

Undue influence is the act of a person with a vested interest in the outcome of the will trying to coerce the grantor into writing the will to his or her advantage. It is difficult to define because this type of undue influence can occur in many different ways, sometimes crudely and other times subtly.

What are some examples of undue influence?

Undue influence could occur when a person with bad intentions starts a false relationship with the grantor or pushes marriage with the primary intention of becoming the heir to the estate. It can be very difficult in situations such as this to prove that the person was acting with bad intent. Another example is a person abusing a vulnerable person, through threats or control, and bullying him or her into being made the beneficiary of a will.

If you are planning your estate and want to ensure that the outcome of your estate will not be subject to false undue influence claims, the good news is that you have the power to strengthen your will or trust now.

Source: Wikihow, "How to Avoid Claims of Undue Influence in Estate Planning," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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