Unwarranted influence creates a contest of will

Will competition cases are often based on claims of undue influence.

The opportunity to use undue influence by itself is not enough to invalidate the will. There must be evidence that the effect was not only present, but was in fact exercised in connection with the making of the will. In most cases, the exercise of undue influence is subtle, and by its nature usually involves an extended course of transactions and conditions.

The effect is not superfluous unless it eliminates the maker’s freedom of choice and the will that it generates, an undue influence that benefits a person who would not otherwise benefit.

Acts of undue influence must be so excessive that they destroyed the maker’s will through force, coercion, intimidation, excessive pleading, or deception used to attempt to destroy or overcome the maker’s will and induce the maker to sign a will that is not what the maker really wanted.

Possible witnesses to undue influence on the will maker may be close friends of the deceased, family members, family physician, home health care providers, clergy, hairdressers, manicurists, and others whom the will maker trusts or trusts.

Since no two instances of undue influence are the same, the outcome of any issue turns out to have its own unique facts.

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