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Is a manipulator exerting undue influence on your loved one?

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Estate Planning

Pennsylvania law monitors matters of estate planning closely. This is to help prevent foul play and trickery from getting in the way of an honest probate process. Unfortunately, there are still people who try to find a way to get around the law.

When someone exerts influence over the writer of an estate plan or will, this is one example. It is crucial to keep your eye out for red flags.

What is the goal of a manipulator?

The American Bar Association defines undue influence as an act involving a victim and a third party. The victim is the party to whom the estate plan belongs to. The third party is the manipulator, and they are often someone close to the victim, like a caretaker.

The general goal of the manipulator is to have the estate plan or will changed in a favorable way. In most cases, they want to personally gain from the plan. They may thus ask for beneficiaries to get changed around. If you notice your loved one changing their beneficiaries, it could be a potential warning sign.

What tactics do they use?

The manipulator will also try to isolate your loved one, thus making them easier to control. It is often hard to catch a manipulator in a lie, but you can gather evidence against them and work to confirm your suspicions. Keep an eye out if the manipulator refuses to let you or anyone else meet with your loved one, citing many different reasons.

Finally, watch out if the manipulator tries to take control of many aspects of your loved one’s life. A caretaker has a certain level of responsibility and will often have to take care of some scheduling, medication reminders and so on. However, a manipulator will often try to control all scheduling and appointments, all medication, and even all finances. Any of these signs could mean trouble is at hand.