Many people do not realize that when a beneficiary is active in procuring a will it generally creates a presumption of undue influence. Whether a beneficiary was “active” in procuring the will" is fact driven but a presumption may arise from something as minor as taking the decedent to the lawyer’s office.
The take home message for a potential beneficiary is to urge the benefactor to get independent advice and then stay out of the way. For the relative who suspects mischief the best starting place is the circumstances surrounding the execution of the will.
Cumberland School of Law, Cum Laude graduate Peter F. Burns practice areas include business litigation will contests, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and other matters of complex civil litigation. Mr. Burns is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a Certified Alabama Mediator; Board-Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, and a member of national and state Legal associations.