Undue influence in will making for the elderly/vulnerable

Making a will with a person is usually a straightforward matter.

The two questions I need answers to at the outset, to allow me put a framework or structure on a will for the client, are:

  1. Who gets what and
  2. Who will act as your executor

In the case of spouses it is commonly the case that the answer wo both of these questions is the other spouse. Then you need to make enquiries about what will happen if both spouses pass away at the same time, especially if there are minor children involved.

The question of duress and pressure and influence arises in the case of an elderly or vulnerable person. I would always be on the lookout for any signs of undue influence with a relation bringing in an elderly person to make or change a will.

I need to be satisfied that the elderly/vulnerable testator knows what they are doing, and they are doing it freely. Being able to speak to them alone is an important part of satisfying myself.

It is not always essential, but I need to be sure they are clear about what they want to do.

This scenario does not arise too often, but I would be conscious of the need to make a sound judgment when it does.

I was obliged to do this for the first time this year. It may be that the person was brought off to another solicitor and the will proceeded.

But my conscience is clear.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.