When Undue Influence Affects An Estate Plan

When a person creates an estate plan, we generally assume that the wishes expressed on paper come from that person's mind and heart. In some cases, however, those final plans are the result of manipulation at the hands of a relative or caregiver seeking more than his or her fair share of a vulnerable person's wealth. In the legal proceedings of probate, this phenomenon is known as undue influence.

Contesting A Will Or Trust

Undue influence is one of the grounds on which a will or trust can be contested. In order to prove that a person was unduly influenced by another in the creation of an estate plan, it must generally be established that:

  • The will or trust leaves property in a manner that runs sharply counter to expectations.
  • The person who created the estate plan was dependent in some way on the person suspected of undue influence.
  • The person who created the estate plan was ill, frail or in some other way susceptible to manipulation.
  • The suspected influencer enjoys tangible benefits in the form of an inheritance or another favorable treatment.

Whether you are calling a will or trust into question due to suspicions of undue influence or someone else has suspicions you feel are unfounded and could adversely affect you, it is important to protect your legal rights.

At The Krause Law Firm in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, our lawyers have extensive experience handling undue influence claims and other types of probate litigation in South Dakota. We can provide you with the guidance you need to navigate these complex legal matters.

Talk With An Attorney Who Can Protect Your Rights

To arrange your confidential consultation with a knowledgeable estate administration attorney, please contact our law offices online or by telephone at 605-610-3496.