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Signs that someone has been pressured into changing a will

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2022 | Probates & Trusts

You were concerned that an elderly relative had not tackled their estate plan, so you discussed it with them a few years ago. As a result, they drafted a will and set up other plans to ensure that their final wishes were in place should something happen to them. 

Recently, they have made some drastic changes to their estate planning documents and you are concerned. Adjusting an estate plan is not troubling in itself, as estate plans need to reflect the current wishes of the individual. However, this must be done on a voluntary basis. 

If you suspect that your relative has been manipulated into making changes, it’s important to address this. Outlined below are a few signs that undue influence might have been at play.

Drastic diversions from previous plans 

Your relative has always felt comfortable talking to you about their final wishes. You’re fairly attuned to what these are. However, you’ve noticed that the updated will and other documents don’t seem to match these. 

Do the terms represent the wishes of someone else? Is it possible that your loved one could have been manipulated? 

One person receives the most benefits 

You have an extended family, including many children. Your loved one cherishes all the grandchildren and you believe they would want their estate to be distributed fairly among the kids. 

On closer inspection of the terms in the estate planning documents, you can see that one person benefits more than anyone else. This could be a sign that something isn’t right and your family member may have been pressured into it. 

If you are certain that the estate planning documents of your loved ones are not accurate, then it’s possible for you to challenge them in court. This can be a complex process, so it’s better to acquire some legal guidance before moving ahead.