Understanding when undue influence may be a factor

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2019 | Estate Planning

It is reasonable to assume that you may want to contest your elderly parent’s will in Washington if you discover that the document is considerably one-sided or does not include your name at all. People naturally want to make sure that their parents’ true wishes are honored. At Parr Price Law, PS, we often assist people in determining whether or not to pursue a will dispute in situations where the testator may have been unduly influenced.

Many people need assistance as they age. If your parent had a trusted caregiver to provide help and companionship, you may have considered the family lucky. However, that person was necessarily in a position of influence with your parent. Did he or she exploit that position?

According to the Washington Administrative Code, personal exploitation of a vulnerable adult includes an act of exerting undue influence that leads the adult to do something that is not consistent with behaviors in the past. One question that the court will consider carefully is whether your parent was acting out of character when he or she changed the will.

You may have suspected undue influence if your parent began withdrawing from you and other family members in the last months of his or her life. If this behavior was accompanied by sudden, last minute changes to the will in favor of the caregiver, or a clause disinheriting you completely, you may have good reason to pursue a will contest.

More information about revealing undue influence and other violations of elder law is available on our webpage.