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    Undue Influence in Estate Planning

    29/04/20 1:19 PM

    Preparing Estate Planning documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship Instruments are essential to promote order and control and to ensure your wishes are carried out if you were to lose capacity and when you pass away.

    Elder abuse is a very real concern when preparing Estate Planning documents, particularly in light of our ageing population. However, elder abuse is not the only concern when preparing Estate Planning documents. Other forces and influences can impact the decisions you may make in your Will or who to appoint as your Power of Attorney, and these concerns don’t just affect the elderly.

    ‘Undue influence’ is a term used to describe pressure, blackmail, threats and/or coercion placed on someone by another person. Undue influence in the preparation of Estate Planning documents could result in the documents being prepared in a way that does not actually meet your wishes, rather the wishes of someone else. Often the person placing the pressure or threatening blackmail does so in order to be nominated as the beneficiary of the Estate or to be appointed as the Executor or Attorney. 

    These positions and appointments are extremely powerful, and therefore placing certain responsibilities and powers into the hands of the wrong people can cause serious consequences for you and your family. 

    May is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, and so we are highlighting how family violence can have serious impacts on all areas of law, and how Frank Law can support you or a someone you know who may be impacted by domestic violence. If you feel that you have been pressured or forced into preparing your Will or Power of Attorney in a particular way, contact us at Frank Law and we can assist you to ensure your wishes are documented how you wish and order and control is maintained.

    If you have further questions, please contact us at frank@franklaw.com.au. 

    This is not legal advice. 

    Kaitlyn Sheridan

    Written by Kaitlyn Sheridan