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Protecting your loved ones from undue influence

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Estate Planning |

As your parents or relatives age, you may worry about their vulnerability to manipulation. Undue influence is a grave concern that can affect elderly or vulnerable individuals. It can lead to changes in their estate plans or financial decisions. Understanding the signs of undue influence is essential in knowing how to protect your loved ones.

Be wary of the red flags

Signs of undue influence may manifest through subtle changes in your loved one’s behavior. You may also notice slight changes in their circumstances. Warning signs you need to be alert of may include:

  • Sudden changes in their estate plans or financial decisions.
  • Isolation from family and friends.
  • New “friends” who may control your loved one’s life. These can be people they trust, who have authority over them, or who have constant access to them.
  • Unexplained financial transactions or gifts.
  • Drastic personality changes or increased anxiety.

If you notice these signs, acting promptly to protect your family member’s interests is crucial.

Take action to protect your loved one

When you suspect undue influence, you may consider taking the following steps:

  • Document your observations

Keep a detailed record of any suspicious behavior or incidents. These may help establish undue influence.

  • Communicate with your loved one

Express your concerns gently and listen to their perspective. It is important that they feel safe to open up to you about what is happening.

  • Consider legal intervention

In severe cases, you may need to petition for guardianship or conservatorship. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options.

Protecting your loved one while respecting their autonomy is essential. It may be best to approach the situation with empathy and patience. Confronting potential undue influence can be emotionally challenging for all involved.

Taking timely and appropriate action can help safeguard your elderly or vulnerable relatives from exploitation. Your vigilance can make a significant difference in preserving your loved one’s well-being and financial security.