If your father died with a will in place, he had done more estate planning than most. In fact, according to a recent study, roughly 66% of those over the age of 55 have not drafted even basic will. Reading through your dad’s will, of course, probably tells you exactly how to dispose of his assets.
When reviewing your father’s will, you may find some provisions that make little or no sense to you. If that happens, you may wonder if the document reflects your dad’s true wishes. Here are three signs someone may have exerted undue influence over your father’s will.
1. Your father changed his will recently
With few exceptions, individuals are typically free to write wills how they see fit. They also usually may review and revise these documents as often as they want. Still, if your dad changed his will significantly shortly before his death, you may want to investigate whether undue influence was to blame.
2. Your father made strange bequests
If you had a good relationship with your father, you may have thought you knew exactly what he would do with his assets. If your dad’s bequests leave assets to individuals he barely knew, you may want to contest the will. This may be especially true if your father began a new relationship immediately before his death.
3. Your father had too much help with the will
While there are certainly legitimate reasons to ask for assistance during the estate planning process, too much help may be evidence of undue influence. That is, if others helped your dad write his will, they may have supplanted their wishes over your father’s.
While estate litigation can take some time, there are ways to accelerate the process. Regardless, if you believe your dad may have fallen victim to undue influence, contesting the will may be an effective way to honor his legacy.