Creating and managing an estate plan is an important part of life. Of course, the more a person’s estate is worth, the harder this management will often get.
In addition, estates of higher worth will often get people trying to gain favor they may not deserve. They could even use underhanded means to do so.
The goal of undue influence
Cornell Law School takes a close look at undue influence. This is a term used to describe the behavior of an individual or group of people who use underhanded tactics to part a person from control over their estate or their assets.
The end goal of this influence is to gain control over the estate or to gain an unfair amount of the assets divided. For example, one sibling may manipulate and control their elderly parent, taking advantage of a memory-related illness like dementia to convince the parent into making them executor. They can also manipulate the parent into giving them more than their fair share of money or property.
Leading red flag
The first sign many people notice is increased isolation from loved ones. The manipulator in these situations often wants to keep the victim isolated and away from outside opinions so they cannot realize they are getting tricked and used.
Manipulators will often go to great lengths to control everything about a victim’s schedule, too. This includes holding onto their medication, making their doctor’s appointments and refusing to let anyone else know what the victim’s schedule is when asked.
Any of these controlling behaviors may point to a deeper issue, so those who notice should take care to pursue follow-up if needed.