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What are some signs of undue influence?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Undue influence may lead loved ones to make choices not in line with their true intentions. In the realm of estate planning, it is important to be aware of signs that might indicate the presence of this problem.

Part of this includes shedding light on the importance of staying vigilant during this process.


Those exerting undue influence often seek to control information and limit external voices. This includes causing loved ones to intentionally isolate themselves from their usual support networks.

Almost 1 out of 4 American adults aged 65 or older meet the definition of socially isolated, as of 2020. A loved one can become increasingly distant from family, friends or advisors during estate planning. This action could suggest external control compromising the authenticity of their decisions.

Financial manipulation

Undue influence frequently affects financial aspects of estate planning. Keep an eye out for sudden, unexplained changes in monetary arrangements.

This includes large asset transfers or changes to wills and trusts. Financial exploitation could be a sign of manipulation in the estate planning process.

Emotional coercion

Emotional manipulation is a powerful tool in estate planning. Watch for signs of emotional pressure, guilt-tripping or exploitation of vulnerabilities. Adults under undue influence might struggle to express their true feelings or concerns.

Lack of decision-making

Excessive control from another party is a clear sign of undue influence in estate planning. This might include an individual withholding information or limiting a loved one’s ability to act independently. If the loved one seems to have limited control over their own estate planning choices, it could suggest undue influence is at play.

Recognizing signs of undue influence is important when odd and irregular interactions happen. Through heightened awareness of manipulation, those writing an estate plan can build a legacy they truly believe in.