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Home » Elder Law » Can you spot the signs of undue influence?

As parents age, it becomes natural to want to protect them. What happens when you suspect someone is exerting power over your aged parent and taking advantage?

Undue influence is a widespread problem among the elderly population. It can prove difficult to spot, especially if you do not see your aging parent frequently. First, get a basic grasp of what constitutes undue influence.

What is undue influence?

Undue influence is a psychological campaign to gain someone’s trust with the intent of taking something. Perpetrators are often relatives. The usual intent of someone using undue influence is to gain access to money either while the victim is alive or as an heir of the estate.

What are common signs?

A person susceptible to undue influence is typically dependent on others for help. The elderly are a target because they often can no longer drive, get around or have memory problems. It makes this age group particularly easy to manipulate. Some common signs that your loved one has fallen prey to undue influence include:

  • Large gifts to someone outside the family or inner circle
  • Changes in personality towards you and family members
  • Transactions that do not fall within the norm
  • Loans to unknown people
  • Distance from other loved ones and friends

If you believe someone has exerted undue influence over your parent, you may want to consult someone for help. In some cases, you may want to start a guardian proceeding to attempt and take control of your parent’s finances and medical care. A professional with experience in this area may prove a helpful ally.