Attorney Jeffrey P. Coleman clarifies the meaning of the ‘presumption of influence’, how it affects a will contest case, and how it can be overcome.
The presumption of undue influence is where the contestant in a will contest case has established enough evidence to show that the presumption of undue influence has been established.
At that point, potentially, the burden of proof shifts from the contestant back to the proponent of the will.
If the contestant of the will (that is, the person who’s attacking the will) has established the necessary parts to show that there is a presumption of undue influence, then the burden shifts over and back to the proponent of the will, and he (or she) must try to overcome that presumption.
The presumption means that the court will lean towards or accept that there was undue influence absent overcoming that presumption.
Undue influence is not easily overcome, but if indeed there can be established that the person that signed the will understood what they were doing [and] were properly advised (hopefully by a Florida Attorney): allegations of undue influence may be able to be overcome.