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What is undue influence?

| Dec 8, 2017 | Inheritance Disputes |

As a Seattle resident who has recently lost a relative, you could face more hurdles than you’re prepared for. Among those potential problems is the issue of undue influence, which can be more than just a small hurdle when it comes to dealing with matters of the estate.

The Legal Dictionary defines undue influence as any act that overtakes the judgment or free will of another person. This is a very large umbrella term that’s designed to encompass any situation in which someone’s actual opinions or thoughts have been changed by another through generally underhanded or manipulative means.

Examples of undue influence can vary widely from case to case. However, here are a few common examples:

  • Exhortations
  • Trickery
  • Flattery
  • Insinuations
  • Deceptions

This differs from duress, which involves someone threatening or forcing a person into changing their opinions through threats, blackmail, or other forceful shows of oppression. Undue influence, on the other hand, is just as the name implies. It’s a type of influence in which manipulative tactics are used to gain the end result they desire. These tactics can vary in degrees of subtlety. In many cases, the victim of undue influence may not even be aware of the fact that they’re a target of manipulation.

If you feel like you have been unfairly cut out of a will due to the influence of someone close to your departed loved one, then they may have been a victim of manipulation. If that’s true, you may have a case for undue influence on yours hands.