When an elderly person is trying to plan for their estate and who will get their heirlooms and savings after they die, undue influence can greatly influence what they choose.
Potential beneficiaries who emotionally manipulate and pressure weak or confused elderly people may not appear obvious right away. Noticing the signs of this undue influence is important for anyone who is crafting an estate plan.
Intense feelings of guilt or confusion
According to Psychology Today, psychological and mental issues can make people vulnerable to manipulation when it comes to legal documents. When an older person cannot remember events in their daily life or is struggling with problems like dementia, an individual may take advantage of this weakness.
Someone could guilt an elderly person into changing their will or giving them more money than they originally planned. To family and friends, the person with the estate could seem overwhelmed or may constantly change their plans.
Isolation and loneliness
When someone does not have a variety of family members and friends in close contact, it can make it easier for an individual to have undue influence on the writing of a will. Isolation combined with an intense connection with a new person can be a warning sign that this influence is happening.
Unexpected will changes
When an elderly individual talks about one plan for a long period of time and then switches it suddenly, it could reflect undue influence from someone else. Although this is not always the case, huge or extreme changes to the list of beneficiaries could signal that someone has been talking secretly with them.
Noticing undue influence is one way to help someone who is in the middle of estate planning.