Will – undue influence defined

Posted by: Mar 12, 2013By Brian Stutheit

A will may be challenged on the theory that it resulted from undue influence.  The burden of pro0f of undue influence is on the person contesting the will.  Undue influence is defined as words or conduct which at the time of making the will: 1. deprived the person making the will of his or her free choice; and 2.  caused the person making the will to make it or any part of it differently than he or she otherwise would have.   Where a person who is a beneficiary of the will was at the time the will was prepared in a confidential or fiduciary relationship with the person writing the will, and was in any way involved in preparation of the will, the law presumes undue influence.  The presumption can be rebutted by evidence of love and trust, that the person making the will had independent advice, and other factors.