When a will is contested, the deceased’s heirs may contest the validity of a will. If the validity of a will is contested the beneficiaries or interested parties may say that someone exerted undue influence over the deceased person that affected the terms of the will.
Undue influence is often claimed when family members or other interested parties say that one of the beneficiaries coerced the deceased person to include certain terms in a will or trust, or otherwise exercised undue influence. Through the use of medical records, witness testimony, and other evidence, an estate litigation lawyer can establish whether such allegations are valid.
Anyone who relies on advice and assistance from others is vulnerable to undue influence and even a healthy individual can be influenced by a skilled manipulator. Almost anyone could exert undue influence, including close relatives, a distant family member, a friend, an advisor or a caregiver. The types of people most vulnerable to the manipulation of their estate and assets include:
• Someone with a disability
• The elderly
• People who suffer from physical ailments
• Someone suffering from dementia
• A person who is lonely or isolated
If you believe the estate of someone you care about was unduly influenced and you want to challenge the terms of a will, trust, or other estate documents, it would be wise to consult an experienced estate litigation attorney to find out how to protect your rights and your interests and to investigate whether undue influence claims are valid. You have to be able to prove your suspicions in order to successfully challenge the validity of a will, trust or other estate legal document.
An experienced Illinois estate planning lawyer can protect your rights and your interests and work with you if you want to challenge the validity of a will, and to prevent or minimize potential challenges to your will. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Lombard can give you advice and discuss your legal options. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100.