People will go to great lengths in order to reap the benefits of a big estate. This can include manipulating or tricking a grantor of a will or estate.
Many cases of grantor manipulation and undue influence will leave behind red flags. It is important to keep an eye out for these flags because quick reactions are crucial in these situations.
What do the manipulators want?
Cornell Law School looks at the form of manipulation known as undue influence. Undue influence involves two parties. One is the manipulator, or manipulators if multiple people wish to work together. Due to the nature of fraud schemes, this is not often the case. The other party is the victim, who is the grantor of the will and estate in question.
Manipulators in this scenario have something they want from the grantor’s estate. Sometimes, they simply want an unfair share of the estate after the grantor’s death. Other times, they want control over the estate, either while the grantor is alive or after their death.
What are the red flags?
Red flags often come in the form of sudden changes or bizarre behavior on the part of the manipulator or victim. Sudden changes include any sudden additions or removal of people’s names to a will, life insurance policy, or more. Shifts of power such as the sudden replacement of an executor with someone else also count.
Bizarre behavior often starts with a victim getting isolated. Pay attention to a family member, caretaker or friend who keeps finding reasons to prevent the victim from meeting with anyone else. Isolation tactics like this are quite common among manipulators, and spotting them early can do a lot of good.