Troubleshooting Legal Problems

Undue influence in estate planning

Your beloved parent is starting to get older now, and it’s your turn to make sure that they are looked after. Part of this involves ensuring that their estate planning needs are met. 

One thing they may want to consider is drafting a will. A watertight will can ensure that their final wishes are carried out as requested, with their legacy being upheld. Not only can this bring them peace of mind, but it can ensure that future generations are financially secure. 

Unfortunately, elderly people don’t always receive the respect and care they deserve. Someone may sense that they are vulnerable, and seek to take advantage of this. It’s important that elderly people are not subjected to undue influence when drafting estate planning documents. What are some important things to look out for? 

Have they become exceptionally close with a caretaker?

If your elderly family member is in an assisted living facility, then staff will be on hand to meet their basic needs, such as washing and food preparation. Staff should go out of their way to provide the highest standard of care, without seeking extra benefits from your loved one’s estate. If your senior is using in-home care, they may have a private caretaker that does the same.

If your relative has made recent and drastic changes to their will, which give a large share of their savings to their designated caregiver, this could be a sign that something is amiss. Have they been manipulated or pressured into making these changes? While these changes may be genuine, it is important to carefully examine whether any undue influence was present. Your loved one’s dependence on a caregiver can make them susceptible to persuasion or coercion.

You have the best interests of your family at heart and this should be reflected in their estate plan. If you feel that they have become dangerously isolated and susceptible to manipulation, make sure you take a look at the legal options available to you.