Virginia law often dictates how you handle estate planning and management. The system streamlines how you handle a loved one’s estate and assets after their death. Most of the time, it works as intended.
But sometimes, a third party’s interference can render a loved one’s will inaccurate. They may end up as a victim of undue influence.
Look for changes in beneficiaries
The American Bar Association takes a look at some of the warning signs for undue influence. A third party exerts undue influence, often a caretaker. They use manipulation and coercion tactics to get your loved one to change their estate plan in a way that favors them. This is why sudden changes to the estate plan should act as your first warning sign. Did a beneficiary end up removed? Was someone unexpected added? A third party may be up to no good.
Is your loved one being isolated?
Likewise, the manipulator often uses tactics tried and true for other instances of manipulation. For example, they may isolate your loved one by refusing to allow anyone to visit. They often do this by creating excuse after excuse as to why no one can see your loved one. Perhaps they need rest, or maybe they are under the weather or busy.
They may also try to exert personal control over your loved one to a noticeable degree. They may want to manage their appointments or medication. In extreme cases, they take over all aspects of scheduling and may even usurp financial duties. If one caretaker seems to be taking on too many responsibilities, it might not be out of the goodness of their heart.