What is undue influence?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2021 | Probate Litigation |

Ideally, a Minnesota resident’s last will and testament represents the way that they want their assets to be divided among their family members. Unfortunately, this might not be the case when shady characters get involved. You might want to contest your loved one’s will if you suspect that someone exhibited undue influence during the writing process.

What is undue influence?

Undue influence is the act of using the power that you have over another person to influence their decision. In probate litigation, this often comes up when someone influences a person to write their will in a certain way. They might take advantage of the person’s old age and declining mental state to pressure them when they plan their estate.

For example, they might persuade the individual to leave them a large chunk of their assets or disinherit someone they don’t like. They might even tell them lies to influence their decision. Some people even forge the decedent’s signature or get them to sign papers that they don’t understand. As a result, the final copy of the will isn’t what the decedent would have wanted for their family.

If you have reason to believe that undue influence has taken place, a probate attorney could help you contest the will in court. The will might be thrown out in court if the will contest is successful. However, undue influence can be difficult to prove.

How can you successfully contest a will?

An attorney might have the tools and resources that you need to challenge the will in court. You may have a difficult time proving that an individual exerted influence over your loved one, especially if they’ve influenced other people in your family or social circle. You’ll need a solid case that proves that the current version of the will is illegitimate.