When someone uses undue influence, perhaps to alter an estate plan in their favor, they often do it by manipulating the elderly person to change the plan. They want it to look official. They want it to look like the plan reflects the elderly person’s true wishes. That’s why they have to manipulate the person themselves into making those changes.
How do they do it? There are four general steps:
- First off, they look for an area of weakness. For instance, an elderly person may really crave socialization or they may be vulnerable due to the care and assistance they require.
- After they know what the weakness is, they exploit it. They use it against that person.
- As they do so, they convince the person to give up assets. For instance, they may threaten to stop taking care of them if they don’t change the will, and the elderly person will feel like they have no choice. The manipulator could also try to convince the elderly person that the changes are what they really want, even when it’s not in their best interests.
- When they find a tactic that works, the manipulator will repeat it over and over to get what they want.
These manipulators can be very good at picking their targets. Manipulators could also be just about anyone: Children, caretakers, close friends or even romantic interests. They use whatever position they have to their advantage and attempt to create financial gain through the will and estate plan.
If you worry that this has happened to your loved one, you must know what legal options you have.