If you have a special relationship with an elderly aunt, you undoubtedly want to respect her wishes. By creating a comprehensive will, your aunt both decided what happens to her assets after her death and avoided intestacy protocols. Still, if someone exerted undue influence over your aunt’s estate plan, you may need to contest the will.
With undue influence, a person of power supplants his or her wishes over your aunt’s. Unfortunately, though, because the will may appear legally valid, identifying undue influence can be challenging. Here are three indicators your aunt may have fallen victim to undue influence when drafting her estate plan.
1. The will makes little sense to you
If you spent considerable time with your aunt during her life, you probably know which friends, relatives and organizations your aunt loved most. Logically, these individuals and groups should receive some of your aunt’s wealth. If the will excludes those closest to your aunt or otherwise makes little sense to you, undue influence may be the culprit.
2. The will changed recently
From time to time, it is a good idea for anyone to review an estate plan for accuracy and completeness. Making periodic changes also may be necessary. Nevertheless, if your aunt changed her will shortly before her death, the document may not reflect her genuine wishes. This may be especially true if the reworked will adds a beneficiary who only came into your aunt’s life recently.
3. Your aunt had too much help
Drafting even a basic will can be challenging. While your aunt may have asked a friend, relative or someone else for help with her estate plan, too much assistance may be evidence of undue influence. Specifically, if someone used a position of power to influence your aunt’s decision-making process, the will may not be reliable.
Ultimately, protecting your aunt’s legacy is important to you. Among the many ways to do so, ensuring the will matches your aunt’s intentions is critical.