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What Is Undue Influence?

Probate Information • Oct 20, 2021
post about What Is Undue Influence?

What is undue influence? In Florida, people often “unduly influence” others to change a will or trust. That’s not proper. And not allowed. it’s actually fraud. A will or trust or bank account that is caused by this is not valid. Dis-inherited beneficiaries and loved ones can win back their inheritance if they prove the presence of undue influence. This concept is something that many beneficiaries and heirs want to know more about when it comes to a last minute will signing or inheritance. This Florida probate legal commentary will discuss what it is and the warning signs. To see an introductory, Free Probate Video on this topic, click HERE.

What is undue influence? Florida courts hear those cases all the time, mostly in probate court.

What is Undue Influence in a Nutshell?

Undue influence is a species of fraud. It has been described as over-pursuasion, force, coercion or duress.

When someone does this, they, in essence, destroy the free will or free “mind” of the victim. And replace it with their own financial desires and motives.

It is often said that a will or a trust document created by this force or coercion is NOT the product of the person signing the will or trust. But by the perpetrator. The fraudster. The “undue-influencer.”

What is the effect of a will or a trust that is caused by undue influence? It is void. You can read Section 732.5165 of the Florida Probate Code.

What are some situations that MAY be undue influence?

Possible Examples

  • Sign the will or I’ll leave you!
  • “Change the trust or you’ll never see your grandchildren again.”
  • Give me Power of Attorney, or I’ll put you in a nursing home !
  • “I’m driving you to the bank and you put my name on the account.

Warning Signs and Reading More About This

You can read more about this topic. Here are some links and additional data:

  • Caselaw– read appellate opinions online for free. Like THIS ONE from October of 2021 out of Miami.
  • Good solid Florida legal commentary.
  • For Warning Signs, scroll down in this important BLOG
  • For more on Probate Fraud, click here.