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Duress or Coercion

In a Will Contest, duress or coercion arises when the testator’s real belief in a threat causes him to change a Will, favoring the threatening person that he would otherwise not make.

Proving a Will is the Result of Duress or Coercion.

The judge hearing a Will Contest case can find the Will invalid due to Duress only if he or she hears the proper evidence. Gathering this evidence will require depositions, expert witnesses, interrogatories, witness interviews, subpoenaed documents, and evidence.  Your attorney must present this evidence following the Rules of Evidence.  The other side will most certainly try objectioning. Our experienced Will Contest Attorney will walk you through every step of this complicated journey.

Duress vs. Undue Influence.

Often confused with Undue Influence, because both Duress and Undue influence result in a change to a Will because of improper persuasion. They are different. Undue Influence results from improper use of influence, while Duress results from a threat or the actual performance of violence that coerces the testator to change the Will.

Who May Bring a Duress Will Contest Challenge?

Only an “interested party” may bring a Duress or Coercion Will Contest Challenge. A person would become an interested party if the Duress damaged them financially.

For example, if a caregiver’s Duress causes a patient to change her Will, reducing her brother’s inheritance, only the brother is an “interested party.”  Others, who may know of and be angered by the duress, have no standing.  They are not allowed to bring the matter to court.

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Please contact us if you have any questions about a Will Contest based on Duress or Coercion or any other estate law topics. We can schedule a free consultation.

Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law for more than two decades. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate law and Probate clearly and concisely. If you are involved in Probate Litigation, our experienced Probate Litigation Attorneys will make it easy for you to understand. We provide top-notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

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Peter has done our family's trust and estate work since our children were born. He is not only extremely knowledgeable and honest, but makes sure that our arrangements remain current with the changing legal landscape. I would give him my highest recommendation as a professional in his field.

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Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

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