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Sudden Wealth Blog

Understanding Undue Influence and Vulnerable Adults

Older man sitting on side of bed. Undue influence and vulnerable adults.

Undue influence is a form of manipulation that can be used to exploit vulnerable adults, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. It can take many forms, from emotional coercion to financial exploitation. Learn how to recognize undue influence and vulnerable adults. In that way, you can protect vulnerable adults from harm, or undo harm that has already occurred.

What is undue influence?

Undue influence is a form of manipulation that occurs when one person uses their power or authority to exploit another person’s vulnerability. This can take many forms, such as emotional coercion, deception, or financial exploitation. Undue influence can be particularly harmful when it is used against vulnerable adults, such as the elderly or those with disabilities, who may be more susceptible to manipulation. It is important to recognize and address undue influence to protect vulnerable adults from harm.

Who is vulnerable to undue influence?

Vulnerable adults, such as the elderly or those with disabilities, are particularly susceptible to undue influence. This is because they may have limited physical or mental capacity, may be socially isolated, or may be dependent on others for care and support. Additionally, those who are experiencing significant life changes, such as the loss of a spouse or a decline in health, may also be vulnerable to undue influence. It is important to be aware of these factors and take steps to protect vulnerable adults from exploitation.

Signs of undue influence.

Undue influence can be difficult to identify, as it often involves subtle manipulation and coercion. However, there are some signs to watch out for. These may include sudden changes in behavior or decision-making, isolation from friends and family, unexplained financial transactions or gifts, and a reluctance to discuss important decisions or changes. If you suspect that someone you know may be experiencing undue influence, it is important to take action to protect them and seek professional help if necessary.

Legal remedies for undue influence and vulnerable adults.

There are legal remedies available for those who have been subjected to undue influence. These may include seeking a court order to set aside a transaction or contract that was entered into under undue influence, or pursuing a civil lawsuit for damages. You can also try calling your local Adult Protective Services. (Here is the link to Arizona Adult Protective Services.) In some cases, criminal charges may also be brought against the person who exerted undue influence. It is important to consult with a legal professional who specializes in elder law or vulnerable adult protection to determine the best course of action.

How to prevent undue influence.

Preventing undue influence on vulnerable adults requires a multi-faceted approach. You’re taking an important step by learning about undue influence and vulnerable adults. Another key step is to educate vulnerable adults and their caregivers about the tactics used by those who seek to exert undue influence, such as isolating the person from their support network or using emotional manipulation. It is also important to establish safeguards, such as requiring multiple signatures on important documents or involving a neutral third party in financial transactions. Finally, it is crucial to be vigilant for signs of undue influence and to take action if it is suspected, including reporting it to authorities and seeking legal remedies.

Let our law firm fight for your loved one’s rights.

If you suspect that a vulnerable adult in your life is being subjected to undue influence, it is important to take action to protect their rights and well-being. We take undue influence and vulnerable adults seriously. Our law firm has experience in handling cases of undue influence and can help you navigate the legal system to ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected. Contact us today at 602-443-4888 to learn more about how we can help.



Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.