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Disputing an estate because of undue influence

by | Feb 12, 2022 | Estate Litigation

Many individuals in Nevada and elsewhere use estate planning to specify their wishes for the future. During the process, people must make a number of important decisions, and those decisions will affect them and their loved ones for years to come. Creating a last will and testament as well as other estate planning instruments requires a person to be of sound mind in order to make important decisions. However, sometimes, others try to influence the testator for their own benefit. When this occurs, other parties may be entitled to challenge the validity of the will because of undue influence. 

What is undue influence? 

Undue influence refers to another party using his or her position of trust to influence the testator’s decisions regarding estate planning. The influencer usually has selfish or ulterior motives for trying to sway the testator’s decisions, and the person can be a family member or someone completely unrelated. Whatever the case, the act can have far-reaching and adverse impacts to rightful heirs and beneficiaries. 

If a person created his or her estate plan under the influence of another, the documents may not truly reflect what the person originally intended. Perhaps the testator is in poor mental health or otherwise cannot make important decisions on his or her own. Such a scenario is an ideal situation for those who would seek to influence the testator for their own benefit; however, family members and beneficiaries do not have to just accept the terms; they can challenge the matter in court. 

Legal recourse for victims of undue influence 

Many estate disputes in Nevada and elsewhere arise from undue influence, and family members and beneficiaries may not know how best to handle the situation. As such, they can consult with an experienced estate litigation attorney to gain a full understanding of their rights and options. By working with a lawyer, those who feel they were the intended beneficiaries of one’s estate can take measures to hold the undue influencer accountable and obtain the assets to which they are entitled.