In estate law, wills are assumed to be valid, if all of the legal formalities were done properly. If the will was signed by the deceased, witnessed, and notarized, then it is assumed to be valid.
This is necessary because there is no way for a judge to ask a deceased person, if the will presented in court accurately describes how they wanted to distribute their estate.
Overcoming that assumption of validity can be very difficult to do.
In most cases, it requires proving that someone pressured, unduly influenced in legal jargon, the testator into making a will in his or her favor.
However, since the deceased cannot be called into court to testify about any pressure, proving undue influence is difficult.
It is not an impossibility though, as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently discussed in “Corpus Christi Court Upholds Undue Influence Verdict.”
The article discusses one particular case where a Texas jury found undue influence.
That verdict was upheld by the court. While the details of the case are not necessarily important, what is important is that undue influence does not necessarily require definitive proof.
In fact, circumstantial evidence can support a finding of it.
If you think a will is invalid because of undue influence, consult with an estate attorney. Your case will be difficult, but it might not be impossible to prove.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (August 11, 2017) “Corpus Christi Court Upholds Undue Influence Verdict.”
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!