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How do you establish undue influence in Florida?

Gainesville attorney discusses how to establish undue influence in the state of Florida.

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“There’s actually a very important case that came out in Florida that establishes all of the provisions for undue influence. It’s called the ‘Carpenter Case.’ The Carpenter Case basically lays out some very specific provisions, such as: ‘if a person takes someone to an attorney or chooses the attorney or has any real influence on the attorney who is drafting the will,’ and basically, if you meet some of those criteria, it may be enough to shift the burden. If you meet all of them, it may not be enough to shift the burden.

There is some discretion with the court to determine whether or not a person is under the influence of another, but the Carpenter Case gives us very strict guidelines that have now been included in the probate code, those specific provisions. For the most part, they include things like picking the attorney, driving the will maker or the decedent to the attorney’s office, being involved in how the distributions are made, being a beneficiary of the new drafted will, and then, the presence of that person in the will signing or execution, and that kind of violation of confidentiality that would normally exist between an attorney and an individual. That’s going to create a real problem from an undue influence perspective.”

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