Creating And Protecting Your Legacy

When dealing with an elderly loved one, you have extra hurdles and potential obstacles to handle if they have memory issues. This is even more true if any members of your family or loved ones might take advantage of it to meet their own goals.

Still, if an individual attempts to exert undue influence, you will notice signs that point toward it. So what red flags should you keep an eye out for?

The definition of undue influence

The American Bar Association defines undue influence. By definition, it happens when one individual substitutes their will for the will of the person they influence. The person doing the substituting shares a confidential or fiduciary relationship with the person under influence.

There are many interpretations of this definition. Some even make it a matter of personal interpretation, stating that they simply understand automatically when dealing with a case involving undue influence. Naturally, this can complicate matters in court.

Red flags

But when you are looking for signs of undue influence on your end, you can keep an eye out for several things. First, the influencer will often go out of their way to isolate your loved one. They may start making their appointments and refuse visits even from other family members. They often have seemingly solid excuses as to why these visits cannot happen, such as claiming your loved one is sick.

Listen to what your loved one says, too. Many victims will parrot back information fed to them by the influencer, which would make no logical sense for them to say on their own. In many cases, spotting undue influence means you need to put the pieces together in a disjointed puzzle. Keep an eye out for things that do not feel or look right, and pursue them.