When Floridians write wills, they should do so of their own free will. Unfortunately, though, an unscrupulous friend, relative or caregiver may unduly influence the drafter of an estate plan. If someone exerted undue influence over your loved one’s decision-making process, you may have grounds to challenge the will.
Courts often look to seven factors to determine if undue influence played a role in an estate plan. These factors are not exhaustive, however. If someone isolated your relative before or during his or her estate planning process, you should investigate whether undue influence played a part in the will.
A warped view of reality
Isolating an older person may give him or her a warped view of reality. For example, isolation may convince your loved one that he or she does not have any caring relatives. If this happens, your relative may mistakenly believe the isolator is the only feasible person to inherit the estate.
A lack of oversight
If an isolator pushes away friends, family members or other advisors, there may be no one left to raise concerns about the estate plan. Without responsible oversight, your loved one may make estate planning decisions that directly contradict his or her legal or financial interests.
Drafting a comprehensive estate plan or even a simple will may seem like a tremendous undertaking. Your loved one may also lack the mental acuity to accomplish the task without assistance, especially if he or she has experienced cognitive decline.
The isolator may seemingly have all the answers, even if those answers are detrimental to your friend or relative. If your loved one is anxious to finish his or her estate plan, isolation may lead to undue influence.