What if I suspect that the deceased was pressured by someone into changing his/her Will?

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

If the testator was pressured or intimidated into making or changing his/her Will, then this could make the Will invalid. This pressure is called ‘undue influence’.

There must be independent evidence showing that there was an exercise of an improper influence over the testator which amounted to intimidation or ‘coercion’. Coercion may be physical or mental, and it may be a large or small amount. It will usually not be enough unless the persuasion or pressure resulted in the will and mind of the testator being overborne.

The person exerting their influence on the testator is often someone close to the testator such as a family member or a carer. In order for undue influence to be established, the court has to rule that someone had the power to influence the testator’s decisions in such a way that the deceased was not able to exercise their free will.

Proving undue influence is usually very difficult and will depend on the circumstances of the case.  Very few legal cases result in a verdict that there has been undue influence. You should obtain expert legal advice before alleging undue influence. Click here for more information.

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