Contest a Will Solicitors - Claims of Undue Influence Contesting Wills - How to Contest a Will

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Undue Influence Claims

Undue Influence Claims

What is Undue Influence?

Undue influence is when someone is put under pressure when they are writing there will by another party in order for them to gain an advantage. This pressure can be through coercion, deception, manipulation or intimidation.

Proving Undue Influence.

Proving undue influence can be very difficult and cannot be confused with the will writers own sentimentality.

For example it does not qualify as undue influence if a relative or friend of the person writing the will drops hints or makes an appeal to there good nature and reminds them of everything that they have been through together. It does not matter how much you may dislike and disagree with the way that this party has wormed there way into the will writers affections.

When this behaviour becomes unacceptable is when someone applies psychological pressure to the person writing the will or indeed physical pressure or verbal bullying resulting in them doing something that without this pressure they would not have done. The key element that must be demonstrated is coercion.

What is Coercion?

Coercion can be either subtle or very obvious but without coercion the pressure that was applied to the will writer cannot be termed as undue. Obvious forms of coercion are things such as direct threats of physical violence to them or threats to people, pets or objects that they hold dear. More subtle coercion can include pressure being put upon the will writer in there final hours of life when they are at their most vulnerable and far less likely to be able to resist the pressure being applied.

The courts use a bench mark in an attempt to determine if undue pressure had been applied and this is to decide if the person writing the will would have been likely to have thought “this is not my wish but I MUST do it”

As coercion normally takes place behind closed doors it is very difficult to prove and although you may have your suspicions that coercion has taken place and undue influence has been placed on the will writer this is not enough. Coercion must be established as a matter of fact in every case.

If you feel that you may have a case to contest a will on the grounds of undue influence, then contact us today, free on 0800 915 24 84.




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