Caregivers can provide undue influence on an elderly person

| Oct 16, 2020 | Probate & Estate Administration

The person who provides care for your loved one as they age is in a position of authority. The more dependent your aging loved one becomes on a caregiver, the more power that other person has.

Whether your family member moves in to a nursing home or they marry a much younger spouse who becomes their caregiver, the person or people providing their daily care could potentially use that position for their own financial benefit.

Some people will intentionally exert undue influence on aging adults in the hopes of securing a windfall from that person’s estate. What are some signs that you may need to challenge an estate or last will do to undue influence?

Did your loved one make unexpected changes late in life?

The older and more dependent on others your loved one is at the time that they changed or completely redid a will or estate plan, the more likely it is that other people may have exerted some kind of influence on their decisions.

A caregiver spouse, for example, might threaten to withhold socialization, medication or even food if your loved one does not add them to a will or increase their share of the assets. If your loved one changed their estate plan in their final years, especially if those changes benefit a caregiver or new spouse, that could be cause for concern.

Bringing a challenge can protect your loved one’s plans

To some people, challenging an estate plan may seem like an act of disrespect. However, when the documents leave behind deviate from their stated wishes made plain to the family throughout their life, bringing the challenge might actually honor the deceased party better than letting a compromised estate plan dictate what happens to their legacy.