What Does a Probate Attorney Constitute as Undue Pressure?

The best way to protect your future and family is with an estate plan. A probate attorney can help you plan what to do if you are in a coma or have a medical condition that affects your decision-making skills. They can also help you set up a trust to care for your pets and/or children and create a will that the state will accept. You should also talk with the attorney about undue pressure and influence whether you have a loved one who left a will, or you want to write one.

What Is Undue Pressure?

An estate planning attorney in Las Vegas will often recommend that you start planning without telling a lot of people about your estate. This helps prevent the undue pressure and influence that can come from your loved ones. Both undue influence and pressure refer to the same thing. This is when one person puts pressure on another person to get benefits they would not otherwise get. It can occur when the person planning their estate marries someone new or meets new friends who pressure them to change their final wishes.

Physical Pressure

One example a probate attorney can help you understand is physical pressure. This is when someone uses physical force to make you change your will or estate. You might have a sibling who hits or punches you until you agree to give them a bigger portion of your estate. Physical pressure is very common among the elderly. Your parent or grandparent may have a caretaker who abuses them until they change their will. Any form of physical abuse is an example of undue pressure.

Psychological Influence

Psychological influence applies to situations where an individual attempts to change the way a person feels as they plan their estate. A good example is gaslighting, which occurs when a person makes someone else change their thoughts and feelings. You might have a parent who marries someone younger. That person can make your parent think they already promised to give them family heirlooms or a piece of property when the talk never happened. Working with probate lawyers in Las Vegas is the best way to ensure your elderly loved ones plan their estates the right way.

Emotional Abuse

Undue pressure can also include emotional abuse. Unlike physical abuse which includes some type of action, emotional abuse may only include threats. A new partner can threaten to hit or otherwise hurt the individual until they change their will. They can also use tactics such as withholding affection. For example, a new spouse may refuse to have sexual relations with their partner unless the partner agrees to cut their children out of their will. Emotional abuse is common in situations where an elderly person takes a younger spouse or sets up a home with someone who has children.

Who Can Expert Undue Pressure?

Anyone who knows the person planning their estate can exert undue pressure. One example is a person who has children and marries someone much older. They can attempt to coerce their partner to give them more when they die with the claim that their children need more help. Children can influence their parents as well. You should use caution when you talk with your parents to ensure that you do not change their wishes. A probate attorney in Las Vegas often sees cases where caretakers and family friends exert influence when they learn that someone else has a large estate.

Signs of Undue Influence

Always keep an eye out for signs of undue influence. You can talk with an estate attorney about your concerns before your loved one passes away. Isolation is one of the more common signs. The individual who tries to isolate the other person will keep them away from their family and friends. They may even lie to those loved ones and claim the person doesn’t want to see them. Dependency upon another person is another example. Look for signs that your loved one has trouble living without a specific person or even being away from them. You can also look for signs of financial abuse.

Why Does it Matter?

Nevada will only accept wills written by someone in their own hand or wills that have witness signatures and meet other requirements. When a loved one changes their will due to undue pressure or influence, you have the right to argue that it is not valid. If you agree to accept the terms of the will, you give away property and other things to someone who does not deserve them. Make an appointment to talk to a probate lawyer in Las Vegas if you suspect a loved one changed their will with pressure from someone else.

Fighting Against the Will

If your loved one lived in Nevada, you need to go through the state’s court system to fight or contest a will. The court will ask for copies of any wills written by the individual and ask for proof why one will is valid and the others are not. You can argue that the person was vulnerable, especially if they had medical problems that affected memory or decision-making. The court will also look at how much influence the other person had over your loved one to decide which will is valid.

How Long Does it Take?

Don’t assume that you can contest a will quickly or that the court will immediately side with you. It depends on many factors but can take months or even years. As soon as the person dies, you have the option of opening probate in court with or without a will. You must go through probate if the deceased left behind $20,000 or more in assets. Any beneficiary can contest the will that someone else filed and cite undue pressure or influence. A probate lawyer will help you file a petition to contest the will and go over the steps that will happen next.

Avoid Undue Pressure and Influence

You can prevent others from trying to contest your will when you write it by hand and make a list of your beneficiaries along with what you want to give them. It’s not always as easy to avoid undue pressure and influence when you have loved ones dealing with estate planning. This term refers to situations where another person forces or tries to force the individual to create a new will or change an existing will. Turn to a probate lawyer to make estate planning much easier and to ensure your loved ones leave behind valid wills.

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