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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Probate & Guardianships > How To Disprove Undue Influence

How To Disprove Undue Influence


Comprehensive estate plans include many important legal documents. Of these, wills, trusts, and powers of attorney are some of the most common. As with so many legal documents, these can also be challenged in probate court. People sometimes contest wills or trusts to obtain property from the estate, as a beneficiary who disagrees with distribution or as a person who was not named as a beneficiary at all. One of the most common ways they do this is citing undue influence.

When a person raises the challenge of undue influence, they are essentially saying that a decedent did not have free will when creating estate planning documents. Instead, they were under another person’s duress, persuasion, coercion, or fraud. If someone has argued undue influence regarding your loved one’s last wishes, you can fight back against it. Below, our Daytona Beach probate lawyer explains how to do it.

Living Independently 

In most cases, undue influence occurs when an individual is in a power of control or authority over someone else. The person who is under undue influence is usually weak and highly dependent on other people. For instance, an in-home care worker may convince the patient they are caring for to name them as power of attorney or to designate them as a beneficiary in their will.

Proving that your loved one was independent and lived by themselves, or with a spouse, until their death is one way to prove that they were not under undue influence when they created their estate plan. When a person lives independently, it can prove that they are capable of making their own decisions and thinking for themselves. People who remained independent until the time of their death are unlikely to become victims of undue influence.

Managing Their Own Financial Affairs 

If a person is independent and in control of their own life, they likely also manage their own financial affairs. However, there are other instances in which one may manage their own financial affairs, as well. For example, a person in a nursing home may have limited mobility, but may also be able to manage their own finances.

When a person is able to manage their own finances, the probate courts will typically take this as a sign that they can think independently without being under the undue influence of someone else. Paying their own bills, making decisions on investments, and creating their own budget are some ways to prove that someone can manage their own financial affairs.

Our Probate Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help You Disprove Undue Influence 

Just because someone argues that your loved one was under undue influence when creating or changing their estate plan, does not mean they will be successful. However, you need strong arguments to disprove these claims. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach probate lawyer can help you disprove these arguments so you and your family are fully protected and can move forward with administering your loved one’s estate. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to request a free consultation and to get the legal help you need.




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