Undue influence can be exerted only by those who are in a position of power or authority over another person or who has a close relationship with them that can be exploited for personal gain. As a law firm that is committed to protecting the rights of our clients, we believe it is crucial to shed light on the different forms of undue influence and the people who may perpetrate it. In this blog post, we will explore who can exert undue influence and how to recognize and address instances of it.
What is undue influence?
Undue influence is a legal concept that refers to the manipulation of an individual’s decision-making ability through coercion, manipulation, or abuse of power. This can include tactics such as coercion, intimidation, or deception. Undue influence can occur in a variety of settings, including business, politics, and personal relationships. It is often used to gain an unfair advantage or to control the behavior of others. It is a particularly concerning issue when it comes to vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or those in a dependent relationship.
Undue influence can be exerted only by those who are …
Undue influence can only be exerted by those who hold a position of power or authority over the victim, or who have a close relationship with the victim. This can include employers, caregivers, family members, or anyone who has a significant amount of control or influence over the victim’s decisions. It is important to note that undue influence is not always intentional and can sometimes be the result of a power imbalance in a relationship. However, it is unlawful when there is a wrongful motive. As stated in the O’Brien case:
The influence which the law condemns is not the legitimate influence which springs from natural affection, but the malign influence which results from fear, coercion, or any other cause that deprives the testator of his free agency in the disposition of his property.
O’Brien v. Superior Court in and for Maricopa County, 104 Ariz. 588, 592 (Ariz. 1969).
Examples of undue influence.
Examples of undue influence can include a caregiver pressuring an elderly person to change their will, a boss threatening an employee’s job security if they don’t comply with their demands, or a family member using emotional manipulation to control another family member’s decisions. It is important to recognize these situations and seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing undue influence.
Legal remedies for victims of undue influence.
Victims of undue influence may have legal remedies available to them, depending on the specific circumstances of their situation. These remedies can include seeking a restraining order, filing a lawsuit for financial exploitation, or challenging a will or other legal document that was created under undue influence. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney who has experience in this area of law to determine the best course of action.
How to prove undue influence in court.
Proving undue influence in court can be a complex and challenging process. Generally, the victim must show that the influencer had a position of power or authority over them, that the influencer used that power to manipulate or coerce the victim, and that the victim suffered harm as a result. Evidence such as witness testimony, financial records, and medical records may be used to support the victim’s case. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help gather and present this evidence effectively in court.
Also see our blog post How to Prove Undue Influence In Court.
Let Us Help You.
If your loved one has been the victim of undue influence, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Our law firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals and holding those who have exerted undue influence accountable for their actions. Call us today at 602-443-4888. We’re here to help.