Will Contest Unfair Influence in Mississippi

Will Contest Unfair Influence in Mississippi

Will disputes frequently center on allegations of undue influence? The problem typically occurs when someone, generally a carer, receives a present from someone who is supposedly frail and reliant on the gift recipient. When this happens, someone will protest based on undue influence, claiming that the gift recipient had such power over the present giver that the gift could not have been given without the gift recipient’s “undue influence.” It basically alleges that a selfish caretaker utilized his or her position of power to exploit a duplicitous person by persuading them to give a present to the greedy caretaker. Gifts given both during life and after death may give rise to charges of undue influence. Getting help for your probate estate administration is generally beneficial.

Mississippi has well-established legislation against improper influence. A confidential relationship raises a presumption of undue influence in the eyes of the court. As a result, presents given to someone who is in a confidential connection with the gift-giver are automatically void. The person receiving the gift must demonstrate good faith on their part, full awareness and consideration on the giver’s part, and independent permission and activity on the part of the giver to transcend this default invalidity.

Regardless of whether a gift is given during life or at death, these guidelines still hold true. But inter vivos and testamentary donations differ from one another. Irrespective of whether the confidential relationship was exploited, there is a default assumption of undue influence if the gift was provided within the recipient’s lifetime. If the confidential connection was misused and the gift was made at death, the gift is presumed to be invalid.

The major conflicts are frequently waged here because compliance with these standards depends on the existence of a confidential relationship. A number of factors determine whether a relationship is confidential, including whether: 

(1) The person needs to be looked after by others; 

(2) The individual has a close relationship with another; 

(3) The person receives transportation and medical care from another; 

(4) The individual retains joint bank accounts with another; 

(5) The person is weak- physically or mentally; 

(6) The individual is elderly or in poor health;

When one person looks after another or has a close, particular relationship with them, such closeness may develop into dependence. A will may be revoked for “undue influence” if a carer participated in or had input in the other person’s will-making process. The question of whether undue influence will render a will void when the influencing party stands to gain nothing personally from the modification was recently addressed by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

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