Make Sure These Changes Are the Ones You Want to Make to Your Estate Plan

This is your estate plan. The choices that you make about how your property should be allocated are yours to make. Nobody else has the right to make these decisions for you. As you age or your circumstances change, you may need to modify your estate plan. That is your right, as long as you are the one who is deciding on what changes to make.

Don’t Be a Victim of Undue Influence

If you are pressured by someone to modify your estate plan, then both you and your lawyer should consider whether you are being unduly influenced.

The California Courts encourage you to think about:

  • Whether the person who is trying to influence you holds power or authority over you and is trying to obtain an unfair advantage for himself. For example, your dependency and relationship with the person who is trying to get you to change your estate plan may be at issue and the specific modifications sought by the other person may be an issue.
  • Whether your mental functioning makes you susceptible to undue influence by others.
  • Whether you were threatened or mistreated.
  • How, when, and where the person is asking you to make changes. Is it happening at an unusual time? Is there pressure to make changes immediately, and in the absence of an attorney? Is there insistence that the modifications be kept secret?
  • Whether the modifications cut out people or charities that you would naturally want to benefit from your estate.

Undue influence is a serious legal matter and is one that could undermine the intent of your estate plan. If you are being pressured to change your estate plan then please call us today to schedule a confidential meeting.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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