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Signs of undue influence of a loved one in their estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is a critical process, but it’s important to ensure that your loved one is making decisions freely. It can be useful to look out for some signs that they might be unduly influenced.

Sudden changes in the estate plan

One of the clearest signs of undue influence is sudden, unexplained changes to the estate plan. If your loved one makes significant modifications, such as altering beneficiaries or executors, without a clear reason, it could indicate external pressure.

Isolation from family and friends

Undue influencers often try to isolate their target from family and friends. If someone keeps your loved one away from their usual support network or discourages them from discussing their estate plan with trusted individuals, this is a red flag. 

Increased dependence on one person

If your loved one becomes increasingly dependent on one individual for their daily needs or decision-making, this person may be exerting undue influence. Watch for signs that this individual is controlling access to information or making decisions on behalf of your loved one.

Uncharacteristic behavior

Noticeable changes in your loved one’s behavior or personality can also be a sign of undue influence. If they suddenly become secretive, anxious, or unusually compliant with a particular person, it may indicate manipulation.

Protecting your loved one’s estate planning process

To safeguard your loved one’s estate planning process, stay involved, maintain open communication, and encourage them to seek independent advice. Recognize these signs early to ensure you respect their wishes and that their estate plan reflects their true intentions. Stay vigilant and proactive in supporting your loved one’s autonomy and best interests.