Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on October 19th, 2016

San Diego Trust Lawyers Explain What You’ll Need to Prove Coercion

California law presumes that anyone of legal age who makes and executes a will or trust is of sound mind. If you suspect a loved one was pressured, tricked, or otherwise coerced into terms they hadn’t previously agreed with by someone looking to profit from their death, it’s in your best interests to seek the advice of a Riverside trust attorney. As the person making the allegation, the burden of proof is on you.

Someone could be vulnerable to undue influence or coercion due to serious health issues. They might be easily confused, forgetful, or unable to perform day-to-day tasks, and even someone who is lucid can be taken advantage of. This is why coercion is distinct from mental incompetence.

Medical Records are Essential to Invalidate a Trust

If you don’t have easy access to the decedent’s medical records, your attorney can subpoena them during the litigation process.

You will also want to seek out letters and other communications from the decedent. These may point to someone pressuring the decedent into making a decision he or she wouldn’t have made otherwise. New and dramatically different trust documents executed very shortly before the testator’s death are often an indication of undue influence. So, consider older versions of the trust to be valuable to your case.

Your attorney will review these documents with a forensic geriatric psychiatrist, who will testify about their findings.

If you suspect coercion in your loved one’s will contact an attorney today. The San Diego trust lawyers at The Grossman Law Firm offer Riverside probate litigation, will contests, and trust administration services. Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling 888-443-6590. Fill out our quick contact form to reach us online.

Also, request your FREE copy of Scott Grossman’s essential reading material for beneficiaries. Winning the Inheritance Battle, and The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration, may answer some of your questions. Additionally, the Grossman Law Firm also offers a free audio book along with the reading materials. Don’t hesitate to grab your copy today.