Most estate planning matters present no issues of potential undue influence or incapacity. The client or clients (if a couple) meet with the attorney. They discuss the clients' goals and the best ways to reach them, develop a plan, and then implement it.
But some situations are out of the ordinary and require the lawyer to take extra steps to ensure that the client is not subject to undue influence.
Definition of Undue Influence
Before we list those circumstances, let's review the elements that must be proved to establish the existence of undue influence to invalidate an estate plan. There are four such elements which together prove undue influence:
- The estate plan involves an unnatural disposition of the estate (see 3 below),
- By a person who is susceptible to undue influence (see 1 below),