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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

What is undue influence?

Having a Last Will and Testament is important, and it is even more important for the individual creating that Last Will to meet with an attorney while in a clear and uninfluenced state of mind.

This is where it is useful to understand what it means to be unduly influenced and what it can mean for someone creating an estate plan.

What does a manipulator want?

The American Bar Association discusses undue influence. In terms of estate plans, wherein a Last Will and Testament is created, this typically refers to events where one person or a party of people manipulate an individual creating a Last Will to get what they want out of that person’s estate.

Typically, the manipulator in this situation wants to get a bigger portion of the estate’s assets. In some cases, they may want more control over the estate plan in general and could thus aim to become the Executor under the Last Will or the agent under Power of Attorney to act during the individual’s lifetime.

How do they get it?

Manipulators use many tactics to get what they want in these situations. They will often abuse and/or isolate the victim to keep them from getting outside help. They will often manipulate and gaslight the victim to ensure they stay in the dark.

They often also target individuals who seem more susceptible to influence or vulnerable in general. This includes victims who just went through emotional hardship, victims suffering from illness or injury, those with mental or physical disabilities, and those with memory disorders.

This is why it is important for the loved ones and/or those close to a person to notice when something may seem amiss. Consider taking action if you spot any potential red flags that might look like undue influence.


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