Undue influence is a frequently contentious issue in probate litigation. Usually, the court appoints a guardian to carry out an undue influence for an incapacitated person. However, that extent of influence can be challenged in a court in California. Undue influence is never a permanent decision and contains terms that can be contested by a decedent’s beneficiaries.
What undue influence means
Undue influence is a legal situation in which one or more adults is in control of another adult. Undue influence occurs when one adult is appointed by the court to work as a guardian or conservator. This guardian is required to make decisions that affect the management of another person’s assets. However, complications occur often when a person is fully mentally competent but is considered to be incompetent and denied the ability to control his or her assets.
How it affects probate
Undue influence becomes complicated when planning an estate for a mentally or physically incapacitated person. A guardian or conservator may be appointed to decide who receives the person’s assets after his or her death. However, conflicts occur when the estate’s owner and beneficiaries challenge the final decision. Different states have different regulations for handling probate litigation. Under the California Probate Code, the definition of undue influence is not defined specifically; however, another person is entitled to act on behalf of another individual without court approval.
How undue influence affects estate planning
In California, undue influence is defined in the probate code. Overall, the state’s law allows one person to be appointed as the handler of another person’s will, trust or estate. Planning the estates of elderly individuals is becoming more complicated every year in society. This means that undue influence has become a common legal term that must be fully understood.