As your mother went through the final stages of life, you may have become even closer to her. In fact, prior to her death, you may have believed you knew everything about your mom’s end-of-life wishes and estate plan. After reading through her will, though, you may find it makes little or no sense to you.
Residents of Georgia typically have wide latitude to dispose of their assets as they see fit. There is a critical exception, however. If someone exercised undue influence over your mother’s estate plan, you may have valid grounds to challenge the validity of her will.
What is undue influence?
For purposes of contesting a will, undue influence happens when someone uses a position of power to convince the writer of a will to take actions he or she otherwise likely would not have taken. Consequently, if your mother’s will leaves few or no assets to those she loved most, undue influence may be to blame.
How do individuals fall victim to undue influence?
Because of diminished mental capacity and health-related issues, elderly individuals may be particularly vulnerable to undue influence. If your mother had a new relationship or caregiver before she died, you may want to question the person’s motives. This is especially true if your mom’s will leaves substantial assets to him or her.
Your mother likely worked hard throughout her life to build wealth for herself and those closest to her. If undue influence affected your mom’s estate plan, contesting the will may be your most effective strategy for protecting both her legacy and your financial interests.