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Understanding When Undue Influence And Competency Occurs

When the elderly no longer have the mental capacity to make informed decisions about their affairs, any legal contracts they enter into or documents they sign can be challenged. In cases where people are known to suffer from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s, changes to a will or estate plan after the onset of the disease can be grounds for contesting the validity of those changes.

Often, an untrustworthy relative, neighbor or nursing home attendant will convince an elderly person to make changes to a will or estate plan in order to gain access to assets and property. When a person does not have the capacity to understand what they are being asked to do, this raises the issue of undue influence and capacity. At Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA, our attorneys represent clients in cases involving contested wills and questions of competency and undue influence.

We have the medical and expert witness resources needed to leverage our clients’ cases when undue influence and competency are at issue. To discuss your case, contact the probate lawyers at Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA, today.

How Undue Influence And Competency Is Determined

In most cases, medical records must be consulted and doctors interviewed to determine the degree to which a disease or illness has affected a person’s ability to make changes to a will or estate plan. Timelines must also be consulted in order to determine when a change was introduced, compared against the progression of a person’s illness or condition.

If someone was being treated for dementia or Alzheimer’s at the time he changed his will, there are grounds for challenging those changes. If, however, changes were introduced in the early stages of a progressive disease, it may be more difficult to determine if undue influence or competency invalidates the changes made.

We Are Ready To Protect Your Interests

If you believe a will should be contested or need to defend against allegations of undue influence or competency, contact the attorneys at Russo, Rosalina & Co., LPA, today.