Did undue influence undermine a trust?

You knew that your organization was going to benefit from someone’s estate when they passed away. The two of you had talked about it before; you were both friends, they’d been very involved in your organization over the years and it was important to them.

As a result, they put a significant amount of money in a trust. They were going to leave it to your organization.

Shortly before they passed away, though, they changed their estate plan significantly. Many assets got rerouted to a caretaker. Now that they have passed away, the caretaker is also trying to claim the money in the trust should go to them as the main beneficiary in the estate plan.

What you think happened is fairly simple: The caretaker used undue influence on the deceased. As a caretaker, they were in a position of power and influence over the testator. They used that relationship to their advantage, exploiting it to get the testator’s estate. They coerced the elderly person’s decision and changed things to their own benefit.

At the end of the day, you don’t think that the new estate plan really reflects what the testator wanted. Now, you are also afraid that you and your organization are going to pay the price.

A situation like this can get very complicated. A lot is at stake, the main witness cannot actually testify regarding what happened since they have passed away and many things may have happened behind the scenes to create the change in the estate plan. Make sure you are well aware of the legal options you have.

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