Juan C. Antúnez, in his Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog, discusses the lack of consistency regarding undue influence and how is left open to a broad interpretation. The article begins as follows:
If you run a search for the term “undue influence” in Florida’s statutes, you’ll get over 30 hits. But try finding a single statutory definition for “undue influence.” It doesn’t exist. What we’re left with instead is case law, which is context specific and open to a broad range of interpretation by whomever your judge (or jury) happens to be. It’s basically a “I know it when I see it” standard
“I know it when I see it” … is a problem:
Why is this a problem? Because when it comes to undue influence, I may know “it” when I see it, and someone else will know “it” when they see it, but what they see and what they “know” may or may not be what I see and what I “know,” and that’s NOT okay.
Good lawyering depends in large part on the ability to predict the legal consequences of a given set of facts. Amorphous legal standards make it impossible to advise our clients with any degree of certainty. This lack of certainty is a problem for estate planners and litigators alike.
To see the full article, click: Defining Undue Influence
Posted by Anthony Tran, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal