When your parents’ will is read, almost the entire fortune goes to your sibling. You do get some token items and a small amount of money, but your parents were worth millions, and you expected to inherit life-change wealth. They never said anything about cutting you out of the will.
It also seems apparent that the will is real and not a fake, so you start to wonder if your sibling somehow influenced your parents to write it that way — a process known as undue influence. What are some common signs that this has happened?
Starting with unequal bequests
You’ve already seen one red flag: Unequal bequests that substantially favor one person over the other. But that’s not enough on its own. Other issues to watch for include:
- The changes to the will were recently made, altering the will from one that was far more equal.
- Your sibling had more access to your parents than you did and may have even acted as a “gatekeeper.”
- Your sibling has a history of lying about you and has not gotten along with you in years.
- Your parents were vulnerable and depended on your sibling.
- Your parents suffered from a weakness of mind, possibly due to dementia or other such issues.
Your sibling had some sort of power or authority over your parents. A very common example is if your parents needed physical assistance, help with medication and things of this nature. Your sibling may have blackmailed them into making the changes to get that assistance.
Undue influence is a very real problem that could cost you millions, and it’s also something that is difficult to prove. This makes it very important that you understand all of the legal options at your disposal. An attorney can help you learn more.