Most of the law firms in the state of Los Angeles that are specialized on issues, such as probate, estate and trust litigation is witnessing a sharp increase in the number of allegations of undue influences in their respective litigation cases. This is definitely a matter of concern for a fair practitioner of law or for the individual who is involved in a legal tussle to get a fair and unbiased justice. Except the lawyers or attorneys of the concerned legal sector, it will be unwise to assume that common people will possess a clear idea of ‘undue influence’. Hence, at the primary stage it is highly essential to know the definition of ‘undue influence’ as per LA Probate Law. The Los Angeles court of probate law laid forward the definitions of ‘undue influence’ as per the civil code section 1575, is mentioned below,
- In the use, by one in whom a confidence is reposed by another, or one who holds a real or apparent authority over him, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over him,
- In taking unfair advantage of another’s weakness of mind, or
- In taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another’s necessities or distress.
In order to get an adequate grasp or understanding of ‘undue influence’, definitions alone is not sufficient. One must find and go through a case history where the allegation of ‘undue influence’ has been risen by a party and the expertise of the judge came into effect to sort out the actual facts on the basis of which the allegation is made and if is found to be genuine, the interpretation of the judge to come up with a fair and unbiased justice. This negative aspect is present in each and every segment of law and thus this aspect could be found often in LA Probate Law courts. After reaching at this juncture, it is obvious that the readers of this article will look out for the answers to some questions, such as, what an individual must do if it seems that a dear or near one is falling victim to undue influence? Or if one is getting accused of employing undue influence? Or what can you do to keep yourself safe from the allegation of undue influence? The problem is that the claims of undue influence are critical and complex in nature and hence, it is hard to understand and prove in maximum number of cases due to incomplete and inadequate definition of the matter in the probate code and moreover this negative practice occurs behind the curtain without the presence of any witness.
The presence of ‘undue influence’ on any case of litigation could be established in the court of law by the first subsection of Civil Code 1575. This subsection points out, that to prove this negative influence in the contract or judgment, the claimant or the concerned legal attorney must be able to establish two elements, the first one is, a special relationship between the parties based on confidence and trust and the second element being, improper influence or persuasion of the weaker party by the stronger. In order to check this malpractice, LA Probate Law courts have staffs with specialized training to perform the role of investigators and at times if required these staffs act in a much informal way just like visitors to find out the actual story by interviewing conservatives, conservator, trustee or other people associated with the case. Such activity of investigation is carried out for not only preventing or restricting undue influence but in a case where undue influence is apparent they try their best to find facts and submit the report to the court to make the judge to come up with a fair judgment. The probate courts reveal an extensive approach to find out the fact and in this attempt almost not a single stone remains unturned. The investigators or better to call them as the fact finders reach out to community practitioners such as physicians, social workers associated with Adult Protective Services or representing some other sectors of the society that is related to the concerned case and even hospital discharge planners.
The issue of ‘undue influence’ is critical because the LA Probate Law judges are not able to impose a conservatorship on an elder who is allegedly being victimized by someone using undue influence due to lack of probate statutory support. Moreover, in many such cases it could be also seen that the cases are not getting handled in a consistent manner. Another addition to these problems is our traditional thinking pattern which is making the matter worse. As per the traditional thinking, undue influence could only occur in anyone who does not reflect healthy mental frame of mind but the Los Angeles law strongly condemned this traditional ideology and stated that if an individual is having clear and sound mental state and body it does not ensure that the individual is immune to undue influence. Unfortunately, still if you feel your near or dear ones are falling victim to this negative influence, it is hard to prove in the eyes of the law, unless they have mental deficits. Despite of these depressing facts, there is always hope because there are ample instances where an allegation of undue influence could be proved and moreover in some of those cases the individuals who were falling victims were not even older and possess sound health and mind conditions.