What is undue influence and how can it be avoided?

A study published in 2015 by True Link Financial suggested that the elderly lose as much as $36.48 billion annually in financial exploitation schemes. As many as two million Americans may be manipulated into giving others access to their assets each year.

The most common types of manipulation approaches that schemers use when dealing with this population is 'undue influence.' Mentally and physically ill individuals are particularly vulnerable to this type of manipulation that it often involves excessive demands being made, individuals being put under duress or being deceived.

An individual who is constantly harassed, threatened, misled, nagged or isolated is most likely to fall victim to undue influence, but even some of the most astute and wealthy individuals can be easily manipulated as well. Those who engage in unduly influencing others can be caregivers, pastors, friends, financial planners and family members to mention only a few.

Those who attempt to manipulate others do so with the goal of having them make decisions that are to their benefit. Situations like this tend to be more common when there are family conflicts or jealousy among friends. Oftentimes, manipulators aspire to contest a trust or will.

If the testator is concerned that their intentions may be challenged, they can have their doctor draft a letter stating that they are capable of making their own decisions and are not easily swayed by others. If an individual is shown to be mentally incapacitated at the time they drafted their will, then it may be thrown out. A Lafayette attorney can help you make a case that your loved one was mentally compromised.

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