Hackard Law - Estate Planning
Call for free initial consultation.


We speak Spanish and Russian.

Undue Influence in Estate Cases: New Rules

This year the State of California has updated its definition of undue influence in the Welfare and Institutions Code, making for an important change in financial elder abuse cases.

Whereas before 2014 undue influence was defined as "a confidential relationship for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage," now the state is taking into account the actions of abusers that occur after a victim's death.  Under the amended statute, undue influence has been extended to acts committed by a perpetrator after an elder has already passed away.

Now that the definition of undue influence has undergone an upgrade, it is specified as "excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person's free will and results in inequity." There's no longer a requirement for a relationship between the abuser and the abused, meaning that it should be simpler to prosecute scammers and identity thieves for elder abuse, even though they never had a personal acquaintance with the victim.

The main emphasis now is on the inequitable result brought about through excessive persuasion - which could mean anything from psychological pressure or physical coercion to outright fraud. Standing alone, an unfair outcome in an estate case is not enough to prove sufficient grounds for undue influence - there must be other elements in play.

The new California statute encompasses unlawful acts undertaken both before and after the death of an elder - so that any wrongdoing that occurred during the life of the victim and the estate arrangements enacted upon their passing can be prosecuted more effectively.

With a more comprehensive definition of undue influence in place, there's a better chance to pursue justice for the victims of elder abuse and their families.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Rated By Super Lawyers Michael A.Hackard SuperLawyers.com AV PREEMINENT Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Litigation Million Dollar Advocates Forum Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum Top Attorneys In Sacramento Lead Counsel | LC | Rated Hackard Law A Professional Law Corporation BBB Business Review Best Real Estate
Lawyers in

*AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.