Stephen Laycock & Co Solicitors

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A Will Made By Undue Influence

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One reason for the validity of a will to be challenged is because there had been undue influence by somebody at the time when a person made their will. Undue influence means coercion to make a will in particular terms.

Coercion may involve threats, control, emotional blackmail, threatened withdrawal of help, bullying, or persistent mental pressure that overcomes the free will of a person.

The law has developed a principle of duress, to ensure that the influence of one person over another whilst he is making his will is not abused because a person should be free to make their own will.

The principle is not confined to abuse of trust or confidence. It also extends to the exploitation of the vulnerable.

Whether a will has been made as a result of a person’s undue influence is a question of fact. The legal burden of proving undue influence rests on the person alleging it.

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