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Undue Influence

Overview

Proof of undue influence in the execution of a will can invalidate the entire will or codicil or a portion of either. In Florida, spouses are generally immune from a presumption of undue influence. To prove undue influence, it’s required to prove there was influence exerted on the Testator, the effect of the influence was to overpower the Testator’s wishes, and the product of the influence was a will or portion that would not have been executed but for the influence. The will contestant must establish that the beneficiary accused of unduly influencing the testator was the sole/substantial beneficiary, had a confidential fiduciary relationship with the Testator, and they were actively involved in procuring the will. To prove the last factor, there are 7-10 factors that must be considered, called the Carpenter Factors. These factors will be taken circumstantially together and the gravity of their involvement will be considered by the court in determining whether undue influence occurred.