When Texas residents believe that their loved ones were taken advantage of financially before their passing, the situation can be distressing. In many cases, after the contents of a will have been disclosed, surviving family members discover that an unlikely individual has been named a beneficiary to some or all of their loved one’s estate. When such circumstances arise, some parties may wish to move forward with probate litigation.
The main cause for such action deals with the belief that the unlikely beneficiary subjected the decedent to undue influence. In order to prove that this belief is valid, there must be reason to believe that the loved one was vulnerable to such action. When a person is elderly and/or has suffered mental or physical deterioration, he or she could be susceptible to such influence.
Additionally, the beneficiary must have had the opportunity to carry out influential actions. Unscrupulous individuals who act as nurses or other caretakers could easily have such opportunity. Of course, other parties who had frequent contact with the decedent could potentially also have such opportunity, and a variety of factors can play a role in determining whether undue influence took place.
Feeling as if a family member was taken advantage of can make anyone feel unsettled. Many surviving loved ones want to rectify any suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, and for Texas residents in such a situation, finding out information on probate litigation could be a prudent first step. Because this process can be long and arduous, interested parties may wish to enlist the assistance of experienced legal counsel.
Source: wilmingtonbiz.com, “When To Challenge A Will Based On Undue Influence“, Andrew Olsen, June 1, 2017