Skilled Palm Desert Attorneys Advise on Undue Influence Claims
FIRM LITIGATES TRUST AND ESTATE CASES ALLEGING IMPROPER PERSUASION
Undue influence claims involving wealthy older people and younger spouses have made headlines over the years, but these issues affect families at every income level. When changes are made to trusts and estate plans late in life or during a stressful period, people often question whether someone beside the lawful decision-maker exerted too much control. At Bochnewich Law Offices in Palm Desert, we handle cases relating to undue influence allegations associated with the creation or revision of wills, trusts and other legal instruments. These matters demand a detailed review of the relationships and actions of key parties as well as a thorough understanding of the California legal standards. With decades of experience in this area and a personalized approach to each case, our firm will handle your situation with skill and professionalism.
LAWYERS OUTLINE FACTORS USED TO DECIDE IF A CALIFORNIA DOCUMENT IS ENFORCEABLE
It can be extremely difficult to distinguish between appropriate advice and persuasive tactics that meet the legal definition of undue influence. In a free consultation, we can review your circumstances and see how the relevant law applies. California’s Probate Code lists factors that are considered in these determinations, such as:
- Vulnerability of the alleged victim — Age, disability, cognitive impairment, isolation and other conditions might leave someone in a state where they are vulnerable to someone else’s persuasion. If you’re attempting to prove that undue influence existed, our firm will work to find proof that the influencer was aware that the victim was susceptible to coercion.
- Apparent authority of the purported influencer — Family members and other trusted individuals, such as attorneys, financial advisers and clergy, wield the most power over a vulnerable person. No matter who the influencer might be, we can determine whether they were providing honest advice or were acting out of their own interests.
- Specific conduct at issue — Limiting access to information or necessities can be a strong indication that something improper is occurring. Even withholding affection can be used as a tactic to push someone into taking a specific action.
- Appropriateness of the result — A result that is merely unfair is not definitive proof of undue influence. Based on a thorough review, our lawyers will see if economic consequences or relationship changes reflect a failure to honor the purported victim’s true intentions.
Each situation is unique. Because the key discussions in these matters often occur in private settings, circumstantial evidence can be considered. Whether you’re considering bringing an undue influence claim or seek to defend the validity of a will or trust, we’ll give you the information and support you need to assert your rights.
Contact a Coachella Valley lawyer for a free consultation regarding estate issues
Bochnewich Law Offices assists Southern California clients with undue influence claims and other issues relating to trusts, estates and probate. Please call 760-776-1377 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our Palm Desert office.