If a person coerces a Will-maker into making a Will in a way that favours them or their wishes, then they have exerted undue influence. An example would be a child who convinces their parent to change their Will on their deathbed to provide them with a higher percentage of their parent’s estate.
To allege undue influence means that you believe a Will doesn’t reflect the testator’s true wishes. Proving this depends on many factors such as: who gave the instructions; how they were given; and who stands to benefit most. If the primary beneficiary holds Power of Attorney, then this also needs to be taken into consideration. If an undue influence claim is proven, a Will may be found to be invalid by the court and the court may vary the Will.
Undue influence is a complex area. You need an experienced team of investigators and lawyers on your side to prepare a strong legal case to get the results you want.
With Hammerberg Lawyers LLP, you get access to a team of experienced investigators who find key witnesses and collect substantial evidence. We know what questions to ask and how to find relevant information to substantiate your claim accurately. Hammerberg provides access to psychologists and, if necessary, geriatric forensic professionals who can speak on behalf of the vulnerable person.
Our lawyers possess powerful negotiating skills and the experience you need to build a strong case. We work passionately to get you the best possible outcome within legal deadlines.
The Wills, Estate and Succession Act (WESA) prohibits any applications to vary a Will 180 days after the Will has gone through probate. If the time limit expires, you will be unable to bring a claim. Other challenges to Wills may have a longer limitation period, but it is important to commence your undue influence claim promptly to protect your rights.
We take a personalized approach to each client’s situation. As for legal fees, we take claims on a contingency basis whenever possible. We’ll support you through every step of your claim.