Undue influence from third parties can occur when someone is coerced or manipulated by an outside individual or group to make decisions that are not in their best interest. This can be a complex legal issue, especially when third parties are involved. But understanding the basics and seeking practical advice can help navigate this challenging situation.
Understanding the Definition of Undue Influence.
Undue influence is a legal term used to describe a situation where an individual is coerced or manipulated by an outside party to make decisions that are not in their best interest. This can occur in a variety of contexts, such as in business transactions, estate planning, or even in personal relationships. It is important to understand the definition of undue influence in order to identify when it is occurring and take appropriate legal action.
Identifying the Parties Involved.
When dealing with a potential case of undue influence, it is important to identify all parties involved. This includes the victim, the alleged influencer, and any other individuals who may have played a role in the situation. Identifying the parties involved and gathering evidence can help strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of a successful legal outcome.
Undue Influence from Third Parties in Contract Law.
Here is an example of undue influence involving third parties. A agrees to lend money using B’s property as collateral. C receives the money directly from A or indirectly from B. C exercises undue influence so as to induce B to agree to use his property as collateral. In this case, the contract between A and B is voidable in equity when A lends money to C, using C as its agent to induce B to consent to providing the security interest. See Undue Influence by a Third Party.
Undue Influence from Third Parties in Probate and Trust Law.
A recent Arizona case involved yours truly (Paul Deloughery) as the trust protector in a trust. In that case, the Court of Appeals concluded that a claim of undue influence could be sustained in the particular facts. If A (the alleged influencer) was active in getting B (the alleged victim) to ask C (a third party who had the ability to change a document), the fact that B did not make the change himself would not shield A from an undue influence claim. The question would be whether C used independent judgment (in which case there would be no undue influence). However, if C followed or acted upon B’s instructions — which were alleged to be the product of A’s undue influence — then there could be a claim of undue influence by A.
However, the author is not aware of any cases in which the third party is held responsible. If a third party exerted undue influence and thereby benefited, then they aren’t really a third party. They are an additional perpetrator of undue influence. In that case, you are just going after multiple perpetrators.
Recognizing the Signs of Undue Influence.
Undue influence can be difficult to recognize, as it often involves subtle manipulation and coercion. Some common signs to look out for include sudden changes in behavior or decision-making, isolation from friends and family, and a victim’s lack of control over their own finances or assets. It is important to trust your instincts and seek legal advice if you suspect that someone is being unduly influenced.
Legal Remedies for Victims of Undue Influence from Third Parties.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of undue influence from a third party, there are legal remedies available. These may include seeking a court order to revoke any changes made to a will or trust, or filing a lawsuit for financial exploitation. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you protect your rights.
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Let Us Help You.
If you have a case involving undue influence from third parties, we can help. Give us a call at 602-443-4888.