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Stopping coercion by greedy heirs of the elderly.

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

It is not easy to prove undue influence. We have some work to do. A presumption of undue influence, invalidating a deed or will, exists when (1) there is evidence that the grantor and grantee are in a relationship of confidence and trust and (2) facts exist inferring undue influence.

We must first establish that a confidential relationship existed between the elderly victim and the greedy heir, but proof of a confidential relation without more does not raise an inference of undue influence or fraud or authorize cancellation of a deed or will. The influence to be undue must be that over persuasion, coercion, force, or deception which breaks the will of a grantor and puts that person under the will of another, and it must be present and operative at the time of execution of the deed or will sought to be set aside. Please note that notwithstanding a confidential relation between the elderly victim, the greedy heir had the right to exercise influence so long as it was not so coercive or importunate as to deprive the elderly victim of their free agency.

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