Estate plans and wills are crucial, and more people should have them. However, if you have a relative in a vulnerable mental position, you also need to worry about undue influence.
What exactly is this? What sort of problems can undue influence create?
What is undue influence?
The American Bar Association discusses undue influence. In general, this term refers to situations in which one person suffers through the manipulation of another for the manipulator’s gain.
In terms of estate planning or writing a will, undue influence usually takes a specific form. A manipulator will target the will writer, usually with the goal of gaining a bigger portion of the victim’s assets or gaining more control within the estate plan itself.
Manipulators typically target victims who have some sort of weakness. This can include going for people who have mental disabilities, those who suffer from illnesses or injuries, those with memory-related disorders and those who have a high reliance upon them.
What tactics do manipulators use?
These manipulators will use a number of tactics to exert their influence. This can include lying to their target, keeping them isolated away from their family or friends, and slowly gaining control and power within the victim’s life.
Ways of gaining power may include the aforementioned isolation techniques and taking control of other areas of the victim’s life. For example, they may refuse to let the victim make their own medical appointments or manage their own medication.
If you notice anyone in your loved one’s life taking steps to isolate or control, consider taking investigative steps because you might have a case of undue influence on hand.