What is Undue Influence?
Undue influence is defined as “influence by which a person is induced to act otherwise than by their own free will or without adequate attention to the consequences.” Though the term has been defined, it may be difficult to pin down the legal definition. Most lawyers would say, “I know it when I see it” but it is generally accepted that it consists of one person taking advantage of another and typically is for financial gain. Having competent Brea Probate litigation lawyers will make all the difference if you feel your family member was unduly influenced.
How can undue influence affect trust litigation?
When someone in a position of power influences an elderly and/or vulnerable family member, they may be unduly influenced into changing a will or trust. This may result in family members not receiving the treatment they would have without the undue influence. The family may then litigate against the changes brought about under the undue influence.
What are your rights?
Family members who have been treated unfairly by undue influence may litigate the matter before the probate court. The evidence considered by the court will concern the vulnerability of the victim in regard to mental or physical capacity, emotional and mental health, education level and their position of power when it comes to the “influencer.” The court will also consider the actions evidenced by the influencer and the equity or fairness of the result of the alleged undue influence. If the influencer is profiting at the expense of other family members, that is an indication of an imbalance of equity.
When should you contact an attorney?
You will need to contact probate litigation lawyers when you suspect there has been undue influence in a probate matter. The attorneys will know how to proceed in order to preserve important evidence and effectively interview those involved.
How can an attorney help you figure out your options?
The probate litigation lawyers in Brea California will sit down with you and your family to determine how to move forward. They will be able to discern if your case is a legitimate claim or has any chance of success before you waste any time filing pro se documents.