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Asserting undue influence over an estate plan

There are a number of factors that must exist in order for a person’s estate to be deemed valid and enforceable, according to Ohio law. Among them is the key need for a person to create an estate plan without any undue influence. An estate plan, including a last will and testament and a trust, can be challenged based on an allegation of undue influence.

What constitutes undue influence?

According to Ohio law governing wills and probate, undue influence has a specific definition. Undue influence is defined as a situation in which a person was pressured into signing a last will and testament or a trust agreement by an individual who benefits by the documentin question. Undue influence can come in the form of coercion, deception or manipulation.

Challenging a will or trust because of undue influence

When the creator of a will or trust dies, a challenge can be made to whether undue influence was used to coerce or force that individual to create the instrument in the first instance. If a trust is established by a person during his or her life, a challenge can be raised after its creation.

A challenge to a will or trust because of undue influence is made in court, pursuant to Ohio law. A person making such a challenge presents evidence in the form of witnesses and documents. Other individuals who believe in the validity of a will or trust are able to present their own evidence in response to an objection arising out of a contention of undue influence.

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