Relationship Poisoning

inheritance disputes in Texas contesting a will heirship

Written by Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.

History of Undue Influence

Undue influence is one of the harder things to prove in an inheritance dispute. The doctrine of undue influence derives from English courts.  A will contest heard by Sir Francis Bacon as the Lord Chancellor of England in 1617 illustrates common aspects of the process of undue influence which emerged in the context of a will contest.  These aspects include frail health, physical dependency, false affection, relationship poisoning, threats and mistreatment, and involvement in the execution of documents by and in favor of the alleged abuser.

Relationship poisoning and undue influence.

What is relationship poisoning in the context of a will contest? A Texas court held that when a person makes negative remarks about a person’s children and reinterprets historical events in a negative manner, the jury can consider these acts as relationship poisoning. Based on the relationship poisoning, the jury can find undue influence  and the verdict will be upheld. 340 SW 3d 769. While relationship poisoning alone may or may not be sufficient proof of undue influence, if it has occurred it needs to be brought to the attention of the court because it will assist the court in determining if undue influence has occurred.

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Courts have long recognized that the exertion of influence that was or became undue is usually a subtle thing and by its very nature usually involves an extended course of dealings and circumstances.

Robert Ray

Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We handle cases all across Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Robert Ray is a Texas attorney who handles inheritance disputes

Why Us?

Inheritance disputes involve someone who has taken advantage of the elderly. These cases are complicated and most often, but not always, involve outsiders. We represent you knowing that these inheritance disputes are private and painful family matters. We know this is a stressful time for you. We strive to obtain the quickest and best results possible so that you can get this troubling episode behind you.

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