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Have you ever been accused of having undue influence over a parent? How did you prepare yourself for the deposition if it went to trial?

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Whitney, yes "lack of capacity" is a legal term for dementia or any other condition that affects decision making.
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Is "lack of capacity" the same thing as dementia?
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My brother who is trying to overturn a late change to our father's will on the basis of "lack of capacity" has pulled out of his "bag of tricks' recorded voice messages, from me the sole caregiver, pleading with him to help out with caring for our father so I could have some relief from the 24/7 responsibility. In the messages, I was at my breaking point because my father was having an unexplainable moment that no one ever explained to me could be dementia related. Basically, he simply wasn't verbally responding to me as he normally does and I was feeling frustrated with the situation. That combined with dad either soiling his pants and/or having to call 911 to help me pick dad up off the floor because he lost his balance, made for a rather descriptive phone message. Now my brother who wouldn't help and got his share of the estate cut is using this as a tool to say that our father wasn't in his right mind and that I should have put him in assisted living or under 24 hour independent care. In some respects, looking back, I wish I could have done something more professional to help our father in his remaining months, but at the time our motherhad just passed and it what what seemed best. I guess my question is, ok my dad had a few bad days over a period of 8 months and that is being used now to generalize that he had "lack of capacity" at the time he change his will. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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People sling all kinds of insults and insinuations at each other but taking someone to court is a different matter. The point to an "undue influence" accusation in court is to undo a legal decision by the person who was said to be unduly influenced. For example, suppose Dad changes his will to disinherit Joe. Joe wants to challenge the new will, and says that Dad wouldn't have changed his will if he parent hadn't been pressure or coerced or brainwashed into making the change by sister Jane. Dad took an action he had the legal right and the legal standing to make, but Joe is claiming that Jane exerted undue (= inappropriate) influence (=power) to make Dad do it. If Joe can get the court to believe this, then the new will gets thrown out.

Like everything else, I bet sometimes undue influence really happens and sometimes the accusation is false. If you're accused of something you didn't do, gather your thoughts about how to demonstrate that you didn't do, and how to demonstrate that whatever happened would have happened even without you around. If you did talk your parent into something, think hard about two things so you can stick up for yourself: (1) whether you were really acting in their best interest, (2) whether you honored his or her RIGHT and his/her degree of ABILITY to decide for him- or herself. Even if your parent was so weak that you had a lot of influence, if you used your influence with integrity the court may decided that it wasn't "undue"
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I just had my mom tested last week. Dr. Said dementia ending with altzheimers.
My one sibling hasn't seen us since 1995. I wouldn't put it past him. Fortunately, I haven't taken from Mom, only given my help. She made nothing off the sale of her small home, I bought her 2007 car in April of 2013, and even if I was accused of not giving her enough money, I contribute money to help pay her room at a retirement home. But you know, selfish, greedy people, always afraid someone else might have something they don't, can cause all kinds of grief.
I am careful to keep receipts and proof of things I have helped with "just in case".
It's a sad world we live in. And yes, lovestinks, It seems "no good deed goes unpunished". I go into situations knowing that, but it's my mom, I do it for her.
(as I know you surely do.)
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Thanks My3sons for the link. It sure looks like a legal term to me. pstrern, where do you live? My brother owns a large law firm that includes several elder lawyers.
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ugh. I should pay attention. I have been accused by SIL. "I don't care what you say, I will never believe you. I'm sure you did something to influence him. I don't know what, but I will never believe you". I agreed to disagree, but the climate of the whole situation for me is .....No good deed goes unpunished. I'm not sure if there is a way to prepare for me. Document, document, document...who has time for that? But I would like to know Charles1921's story.
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I took my sister to court for it.
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http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/undue+influence

The previous link didn't include the word influence. You might have to copy and paste the line above if this link is incomplete, too.
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http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/undue+influence provides some info on this term, and contrasts it with "duress".
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This is not a real legal term. Who is accusing you of "undue influence". I don't know of any person who is not unduly influenced by their children at many points in their lives. If the person is incapacitated then "undue influence" could mean the child is doing something not in the parent's best interest. But if the parent is of sound mind, "undue influence" is really hard to prove or disprove unless it is blatant. Just tell the truth if you are going for a disposition.
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Yes. And the one who accused me of it already used undue influence to get the paperwork changed around without my knowledge.

How do you prepare yourself? Have thorough documentation, especially about interaction with the accusing party and good cause as to why you have taken any action you have. And then definitely get an attorney.

The system tends to not be set up for much of a positive income if you try to represent yourself. If you try to go it alone, you might luck out from time to time and find a judge who would listen to you speaking plain English. But most of the time, they are all into procedures and precedents and you won't get a judge to listen to you if you're not speaking the courts language. Unless you're a lawyer yourself, believe me that you usually won't know how.
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The judge will examine whether the patient is cut off from contacting family. If you refuse to disclose what NH mom is in, or tell the nurses to keep someone out without a restraining order there can be problems. If a POA misuses assets or spends money that the patient has not authorized, it is a bad thing. If the patient has been falsely led to believe that a family member should be cut out of the Will, with no basis in FACT, it will emerge in cross-examination. You must carefully document your position with dates, times and details and you may want to have supporting witnesses deposed as well.
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