Did a sibling use undue influence on your parent?

No one wants to get involved in an estate dispute involving their siblings, especially at an emotional time after a parent has just passed away. Unfortunately, it does happen. Estate issues are very common and you may have a valid reason to dispute a will.

One reason is if you think one of your siblings used undue influence on your parent. It may have resulted in their own financial gain — and your loss. It’s undue influence if the influence was specifically set up to promote that person’s own best interests, not the elderly person’s.

For example, perhaps you talked to your parents about their estate plan a year ago, when you were living closer to home. They told you that you and your sibling were going to split the money equally. Then you moved away for a new job, but your sibling still stayed in the same town as your parents.

When the will gets read after their passing, you find out that only a third of the money is really going to you, while two-thirds is going to your sibling. The will does appear to have been amended and signed by your parents, but you begin to wonder why. Did your sibling spread lies and rumors about you to turn your parents against you? If they were helping to take care of your elderly parents, did they threaten to withhold that care without financial compensation? Your parents may have signed that will, but that does not necessarily mean it’s what they really wanted, and that’s when it becomes a problem.

If you think that something like this may have happened, you need to know exactly what legal steps you can take.