Q: When the will was executed, my father was 82 years of age, addicted to alcohol and blind. He lived with me and was dependent on me for many personal services. My two brothers, both heads of families, with slender means of support and alcoholics, were disinherited.
My father had resisted going to live with me until forced to do so by the fact that my brothers’ families were broken up by domestic troubles. As a last resort, he had gone to live with me.
A: Your father’s property was his own. The law does not force a testator to be just, or to recognize natural claims upon his bounty. So long as the will is his own, and not another’s, it must stand. If the will was unjust, that may have been the natural character of your father – even if he was unjust to your brothers for the very shortcomings that he himself had.
Age, blindness, drunkenness, inconsistency with previously-expressed intention, injustice in the disposition of the estate, dependence on the chief beneficiary, and the influence of your constant presence, do not necessarily spell undue influence. Especially if the will was drafted by a lawyer freely chosen by your father, the law requires evidence of direct pressure in order to find undue influence.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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