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How to prove froud or Undue Influence in Wills.

Pompano Beach, FL |

Do I have a chance to wine the case.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It is very difficult to prove fraud or undue influence in a will contest. People do win such cases sometimes. It's impossible to say more since you provided no facts whatsoever.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  2. It's hard to say given that we don't have any facts. Undue influence is a highly fact-specific inquiry. Even with a statement of the facts, it is unlikely that an attorney will be able to give you much certainty regarding your chances of success. What we can do is tell you the relevant factors and let you make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

    A Florida Last Will and Testament will only be set aside for undue influence if the influence amounts to “over persuasion, duress, force, coercion, or artful or fraudulent contrivances to such an extent that there is a destruction of free agency and willpower of the testator.” Just some degree of influence isn't enough. The influence must be so strong that it overrides the willpower of the person making the will.

    There are three factors to consider in undue influence cases: (a) whether the person you claim to have exercised undue influence is a beneficiary of the will; (b) whether that person occupied a "confidential relationship" with the person who made the will; and (c) whether that person actively procured the will or trust that benefited them. The last prong is usually the most difficult to prove and depends on a number of factors set forth In re Estate of Carpenter. An experienced probate attorney can evaluate your case in light of these factors and help you make an informed decision.

    Don't take anything written here as legal advice.I am happy to offer my thoughts free of charge, and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about representing you. Please be aware, though, that at this point we have not established an attorney-client relationship. An attorney client relationship requires me to agree in writing to represent you. Unless that happens, you shouldn’t take anything I say to be legal advice or make any decisions based on it.


  3. One judge described undue influence as a "Svengali like state" in which someone , by manipulation or deception, obtains a bequest by overcoming the testator's free will.

    It's quite difficult to win a will contest based on the ground of undue influence. There is almost never direct evidence. We sometimes speak of "badges" of undue influence.

    Here are some of them. \
    The testator is in a weakened physical or mental condition.
    The "influencer" is in a position of "trust and confidence" with the testator, such as a relative, physician, lawyer, clergyman, home health aid, etc.
    The influencer isolates the testator from his family and friends. The bequest represents a radical departure from prior wills.
    The testator is psychologically or otherwise dependent on the influencer.

    I hope that this helps.

    Jeff Crown

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Atty. Crown is licensed to practice law in Connecticut with an office in Rocky Hill. His phone number is 860-257-4330 and his email address is jlcrown@trustlawyer.com. This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. This response is only a form of legal education. It is intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make the reply unsuitable. Atty. Crown strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in his or her state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  4. You have received some informative answers. For an attorney to tell you more you will need to provide more information. Many attorneys provide an initial consultation for a nominal fee or even free. You should confer with someone sooner rather than later.

    There is no substitute for the professional advice of an attorney who knows your case and represents you. My post is not, and may not be relied on as, legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Best wishes for a just and expeditious resolution.

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