Coming Home for the Holidays Might Help Prevent a Will Written Contaminated by Undue Influence

If you are visiting older parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, or godparents for Thanksgiving or other holidays, keep an eye out for slipping capacity. Don’t dismiss the odd, weird, or nonsensical comments or questions you hear from your loved ones who happen to be older. Visiting your loved ones for the holidays is an opportunity for you to identify if older people you know need help as well as reconnect emotionally. Growing older increases the chances for needing assistance with personal care.

“For 2015, 6.9% of adults aged 65 and over needed help with personal care from other persons.” DATA SOURCE: NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 1997–2015, Family Core component. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201605.pdf. It probably makes sense that the need for help with personal care from other persons increases with age. Adults aged 85 and over were more than twice as likely as adults aged 75–84 to need help with personal care from other persons. Adults aged 85 and over were more than six times as likely as adults aged 65–74 to need help with personal care from other persons. DATA SOURCE: NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015, Family Core component. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201605.pdf

Statistics tell us that women are more likely than men to need help. For adults aged 65 and over, and age groups 65–74 and 75–84, women were more likely than men to need help with personal care from other persons. DATA SOURCE: NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015, Family Core component. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201605.pdf

You might also want to keep an eye on how your loved one’s care taker, the neighbors, and your siblings are influencing your loved one’s last will, trust, and estate plan. An older person with a need for personal care might be susceptible to undue influence. Undue influence occurs when someone in a position of influence uses that influence to overcome decision-making of the person writing a will (known as the testator). The Uniform New Mexico Probate Code and the Texas Estates Code give disgruntled heirs and beneficiaries an avenue for contesting or challenging a last will and testament in court. Attorneys at Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. represent heirs and beneficiaries in Georgetown, Texas, Sun City, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, Amarillo, Texas, and anywhere in New Mexico who have lost an inheritance due to undue influence.

One of the reasons that the law requires people to be present when a last will and testament is signed is so that witnesses can attest that the will was signed without undue influence. New Mexico Uniform Probate Code 45-2-504 (2009). Estate of Gonzales, 775 P.2d 1300 (1988). Texas Estates Code Sec. 256.152 (c)(2)(A) (2015). It is difficult to determine whether someone was unduly influenced when he or she wrote his or her last will. Proving the existence of undue influence in Georgetown, Texas, Sun City, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, Amarillo, Texas, and anywhere in New Mexico depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the writing of the will.

If you feel like something shady happened when your loved ones will was written, call your Georgetown, Texas, Sun City, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, Amarillo, Texas, and anywhere in New Mexico will contest attorney for a free consultation to determine whether we are the right law firm for you, and we will tell you whether we are interested in taking your case.

This information does not constitute a legal opinion and does not constitute legal advice. Legal opinions and legal advice can only be given after a qualified attorney has reviewed your specific facts and circumstances, has analyzed the current law and applicable regulations, and has applied the law to your unique case. Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. provides this information only for those who know full well that relying on newsletters and internet information should not be the sole basis for preventing a will contest or filing a lawsuit for undue influence.







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