What red flags indicate undue influence?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2020 | Estate Planning

As a resident of Michigan, you must rely on your loved one’s estate plan to know what their wishes are after their death. In most cases, the estate plan is the perfect window into your loved one’s wants and needs.

But sometimes, an estate plan or will gets written under undue influence. There are a few warning signs you may want to keep an eye out for accordingly.

Why do people exert undue influence?

The American Bar Association discusses potential warning signs if your loved one is under undue influence. Undue influence involves a third party exerting coercive or manipulative tactics over your loved one. They do this in an attempt to sway their opinion. In most cases, the goal is to get someone else removed as a beneficiary or add new ones. This is also the first sign something is amiss. If you notice any sudden, unexpected changes to an estate plan, it may be a red flag.

Overly-controlling caretakers

Likewise, displays of dominance from the caretaker is another red flag. Does the caretaker refuse to let your loved one take care of their own affairs? Do they want to manage your loved one’s finances and schedule their appointments? Do they oversee your loved one’s medications and even monitor visitors? This iron-fisted way of ruling someone else’s life is often a sign of manipulation in the works.

Attempts to isolate your loved one function in a similar way. If the caretaker wants to exert influence, they want as little interference as possible. To that end, they will often isolate their victim by refusing to allow other people (including family) to visit them. If you notice these three signs, chances are high that something fishy is afoot.


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