If you have recently lost someone whom you care about, it is likely that you are currently going through the probate process. While it is never possible to predict what wishes a person might have laid out in their will, you will probably have some vague expectations of what instructions it will contain.

If you are surprised by the wishes laid out by your loved one and you believe their instructions are extremely out of character, you may become suspicious that another person has influenced your loved one. If this is the case, it is important that you take the time to understand legal terms in more detail and that you know how to take action.

What does undue influence mean?

Everyone who makes a will has the right to do so independently, without being forced into making certain decisions. Therefore, no one should ever try to influence another person when they are making a will. However, it is relatively common for people of an older age to become influenced by the manipulative behaviors of other people.

The will-maker may, for example, have acquired a friend later in life who managed to influence them. This so-called friend could have been influential enough to convince the will-maker to add their friend’s name into the will. In many cases, depending on the nature and extent of the influence, this could count as undue influence.

What factors can help to prove undue influence?

There are many circumstances that can build a picture of whether undue influence was present in the case. For example, if it can be proven that the will-maker was in a position to be susceptible to undue influence, this can help make the case more successful. In particular, if you are able to successfully argue that the will-maker lacked the mental capacity to amend their will, you will have a higher chance of being able to challenge the will.

If you want to do justice for your late loved one and ensure that their true wishes are reflected in their will, you will need to consider challenging the will. Before doing so, you should make sure that you understand the intricacies of the law in Georgia.