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Grounds for contesting a will due to undue influence

The complexities of California family relations coupled with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s can complicate legal issues when it comes to estate distribution. Contesting a will on the basis of diminished or altered capacity is common when addressing significant estates. At The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, our team has experience representing clients who believe their relative was mentally unfit at the time of the last will modification. If proven true, the will, as it stands is invalid.

 The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law states that recent clarification of the existing laws considers undue influence related to financial elder abuse and gifts. Mental health professionals may serve as expert witnesses in the event of the contestation of trusts and wills. The law also specifies the standards that any expert must meet. The judge overseeing the proceedings considers skill, the mental health professional’s training and experience before accepting an individual’s testimony in this area.

There is the presumption of adequate mental capacity when an adult creates their will. Under the law, a qualified expert may agree with a claim that your relative operates in a diminished mental state at the time of the last will or trust modifications in particular circumstances.

The court may deem your relative unfit if he or she has a mental disorder that results in hallucinations or delusions. This is especially true if there is documentation supporting that current actions are contrary to their lives before the health condition caused issues. The judge presiding over the proceedings may rule in your favor if your elder relative does not appear to understand the consequences of the recent changes or if they do not remember your relationship with them.

The new specifications and updated definition of UI provide you the opportunity to prove your loved one’s susceptibility to suggestion and manipulation, protecting them from further abuse. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu
3620 Pacific Coast Hwy. Suite 200
Torrance, CA 90505

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