In California, estate planning can be a crucial step in ensuring that things get handled as you would like even after your passing. Unfortunately, there are some instances in which you may notice that undue influence is being exerted during the process of estate planning.

What is undue influence? Simply put, it is the exertion of influence in an underhanded and hard-to-detect way by an individual – usually the caretaker of the person whose estate is in question – with the end goal of getting more out of the estate for their own benefit. An example is a caretaker manipulating someone so they are written into a will if they weren’t previously, or getting things changed in the will so they get a bigger portion of assets.

Some signs of undue influence revolve around possible changes in the behavior of the victim, or in their availability. Oftentimes, caretakers who are attempting to exert undue influence will isolate their victims so that their opinion and word is the only one heard. This could mean they deny you visits entirely or that they refuse to let you visit without their supervision. They can use all sorts of excuses to keep you at bay, including inventing illnesses and claiming your loved one needs rest or is too sick to be seen.

Undue influence can be a real risk with serious consequences. Are you interested in reading more about undue influence, estate planning, and other matters like will and trust creation? If so, you may want to view our web page on estate planning linked above.