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Undue Influence

Undue influence is a legal term that refers to inappropriate or excessive manipulation exerted against a vulnerable person.  The perpetrators of undue influence misuse a position of trust or power to benefit themselves - or causes they support - at the expense of their victims. Elder abuse, domestic violence, probate or will contests, professional malpractice, psychological torture, war crimes, and many other situations often involve undue influence or similar manipulation strategies.  


An expert in undue influence assessment will know several accepted methods for evaluating undue influence claims and can clarify: 1) how undue influence occurs; 2) how it developed in a specific case; 3) the psychology of undue influence perpetrators; and 4) the impact of undue influence on victims.


Someone who seems to benefit at the expense of a vulnerable person will often be required to prove that undue influence did not occur. Some of the relationships automatically raise concerns about undue influence are:




Conservator or guardian/conservatee or ward 


Physician or therapist/patient or client



More about undue influence suspicious circumstances - especially in probate litigation (will or estate contests).


Basic types of undue influence (overt vs. covert undue influence)


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