Juan C. Antúnez, in his Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog, explains that establishing the initial burden of proof for undue influence cases is not as difficult as it may seems. Focusing on Hannibal v. Navarro, the article begins as follows:
F.S. 732.5165 tells us that a will (or any party of it) procured by undue influence is void. And F.S. 733.107(1) tells us the person challenging a will on undue influence grounds (or any other basis) bears the initial burden of proof.
But what if direct evidence of the undue influence is impossible to find? That, in fact, is the norm. So is undue influence the perfect crime? Nope. Florida law permits contestants to satisfy their initial burden of proof in these cases with circumstantial evidence sufficient to raise a rebuttable “presumption” of undue influence. Once the presumption’s triggered, F.S. 733.107(2) tells us the burden of proof shifts from the person alleging undue influence to the person defending against the undue-influence charge.
To see the full article, click: What’s it take to rebut the presumption of undue influence?
Posted by Jessica Ji, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.