Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on September 29th, 2016

San Diego Probate Lawyer: Shifting the Burden of Proof

Proving undue influence under California probate law requires the assistance of an experienced San Diego probate attorney. One way of doing so is to shift the burden of proof onto the person that you feel exerted the undue influence over the decedent. If done successfully, the individual who allegedly exerted the undue influence must then prove that no such influence existed.

How to Prove Undue Influence

Since shifting the burden of proof is an ideal way to prove undue influence, how is it best accomplished?  It is accomplished with proof of three facts. These facts include:

  • That a confidential relationship existed between the person exerting the undue influence and the decedent. This confidential relationship may be as trustee, agent under power of attorney, court ordered conservator, or a personal familial relationship such as parent/child.
  • That the person exerting the undue influence actively participated in the preparation or execution of the will.
  • That the person exerting the undue influence received an undue benefit from the new will.

Here are three scenarios where the burden of proof for undue influence was successfully shifted. Firstly, when the person exerting the undue influence is the executor of the will. Secondly, if he or she arranged for a new will to be drafted. And finally under the new will his or her interests increased from a small to a significant amount.

If you suspect undue influence in the execution of a will, a California probate attorney can help evaluate the facts and circumstances of your claim. For more information about proving undue influence under California law, contact an experienced San Diego probate lawyer for a free consultation. Call our toll-free number today at (888) 443-6590.