If your elderly mother or father already has an estate plan, he or she is doing better than many. In fact, only about 60% of older Americans have drafted a will or otherwise planned for disposing with their estates after death.
You should be able to trust your parent’s estate plan. Still, if someone exercised undue influence, the document may not reflect your mother’s or father’s true intentions. Here are three signs that may be the case.
1. Control during the drafting phase
Often, elderly individuals need some assistance planning their estates. A person with too much control may supplant his or her wishes over your elderly parent’s, however. This is especially true if your elderly mother or father refuses to push back against proposals.
2. Requests for modifications
It is a good idea to review an estate plan occasionally to be certain it continues to reflect a person’s genuine wishes. If it does not, modifying the plan is essential.
Nevertheless, if someone convinces your parent to change a will, he or she may have undue influence. This is especially true if the modifications benefit the undue influencer.
3. An unexplainable windfall
If the will makes little sense to you, someone may have had too much influence over your mother’s or father’s estate plan. This is especially true if someone stands to receive a windfall.
While there may be rational explanations for a seemingly unexplainable windfall, you likely want to investigate undue influence first. After all, undue influencers prioritize their own financial interests over the interests of the estate planner.