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May 19, 2014 by |

Undue Influence and Financial Elder Abuse


The definition of undue influence contained in Welfare and Institutions Code, section 15610.70 was amended by the state of California at the start of 2014. The updated definition of undue influence applies to financial elder abuse and testamentary dispositions. In the past, in order to prove undue influence you needed to prove that a confidential relationship had been abused. Currently, undue influence means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s free will and results in inequity. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn the public to be wary of elder abuse.

The former section 15610.70 defined undue influence by focusing on the existence of a confidential relationship. That focus prevented enforcement of elder abuse cases where the perpetrator had no real relationship with the victim. Confidential relationships do not always exist between the victim and the perpetrator. Now it is required to show that an inequitable result was obtained through excessive persuasion. The new definition resulted from California decisions involving will contests where excessive pressure either subverted or overcame the will of the testator and ended with a disposition contrary to what the testator would have otherwise done. California financial elder abuse attorneys are glad the definition has been updated.

The new section 15610.70 definition of undue influence applies to both abuse that occurs during the victim’s lifetime and those that take effect when the person dies. It remains to be seen how the courts will apply the new statute. California financial elder abuse attorneys are glad that the scope of the law has been expanded.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse, financial elder abuse, physical elder abuse, annuity fraud, consumer fraud class actions, insurance and banking fraud cases. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse, or financial fraud then contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 for a free and confidential consultation, or email us at

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