Undue Influence Claims Law

Undue Influence Claims Legal Issues

Undue Influence Claims Law:

Under California law a party has the right to select how and to whom their estate will be given. A person is free to leave their estate to whomever they please. Children do not have a right of inheritance. A person is not required to pass on money or property equally.

Funds are often left in different amounts to different children or organizations based on desire or perceived need.

The person making the gift or inheritance can make these decisions, however the person receiving the inheritance is not allowed to make these decisions.

Undue Influence in a Will Contest:

If someone needs to contest a will due to an Undue Influence Claim, the issue becomes a requirement of proof. The individual filing the claim must prove there was undue influence to change the estate plan and the change was not an independent action. If the change was the result of undue influence, generally defined as force or pressure that causes the testator to do something they ordinarily would not have done, evidence must be collected. Gathering evidence like witnesses and documents quickly is very important.

In some cases, if the person who benefited is in a confidential relationship with the testator, is an active participant or receives undue benefit the burden of proof may be required of them. In these cases the requirement of proof shifts to the benefiting party. To prove direct Undue Influence circumstantial evidence like the following can be used:

  • Disinheriting Children
  • Substantial contradictions from the former Estate Plan
  • Opportunity to exert control over the Decedent
  • Mental or Physical Capacity Issues

What a Lawyer can do for you:

If you need to prove that Undue influence for a will dispute claim a lawyer can assist in collecting the required evidence, presenting the evidence, negating with the engaged parties and possible court requirements. Since time is a significant factor in will dispute cases, an experienced lawyer can be critical to your efforts.

A will contest lawyer can also work to shift the burden of proof to the benefiting party. Collecting and presenting direct or circumstantial evidence to require the benefiter to prove there was no undue influence.

If you are drafting a Will, establishing a Trust, or creating an Estate Plan and you plan to distribute assets unevenly you should seek legal counsel to prevent a future claim of Undue Influence. A Wills and Estate lawyer can help you distribute your assets per your desires, even if the distribution will vary among the beneficiaries. Even more important a properly established will, trust, or estate can prevent your family from filing undue influence claims after your passing.

Lawyer Referral Service:

To find an attorney experienced in Undue Influence Claims contact Attorney Search Network. We can help you find a Will Contest lawyer who will help you with your legal issue.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call us toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out out online form for your Wills and Estate Planning lawyer referral.


If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Attorney Search Network.

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