The wills of older people : risk factors for undue influence

Peisah, C. and Finkel, S. and Shulman, K. and Melding, P. and Luxenberg, J. and Heinik, J. and Jacoby, R. and Reisberg, B. and Stoppe, G. and Barker, A. and Firmino, H. and Bennett, H.. (2009) The wills of older people : risk factors for undue influence. International psychogeriatrics : the official journal of the International Psychogeriatric Association, Vol. 21. pp. 7-15.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6005774

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ABSTRACTBackground: As people live longer, there is increasing potential for mental disorders to interfere with testamentary distribution and render older people more vulnerable to "undue influence" when they are making a will. Accordingly, clinicians dealing with the mental disorders of older people will be called upon increasingly to advise the courts about a person's vulnerability to undue influence.Method: A Subcommittee of the IPA Task Force on Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence undertook to establish consensus on the definition of undue influence and the provision of guidelines for expert assessment of risk factors for undue influence.Results: International jurisdictions differ in their approach to the notion of undue influence. Despite differences in legal systems, from a clinical perspective, the subcommittee identified some common "red flags" which might alert the expert to risk of undue influence. These include: (i) social or environmental risk factors such as dependency, isolation, family conflict and recent bereavement; (ii) psychological and physical risk factors such as physical disability, deathbed wills, sexual bargaining, personality disorders, substance abuse and mental disorders including dementia, delirium, mood and paranoid disorders; and (iii) legal risk factors such as unnatural provisions in a will, or provisions not in keeping with previous wishes of the person making the will, and the instigation or procurement of a will by a beneficiary.Conclusion: This review provides some guidance for experts who are requested by the courts to provide an opinion on the risk of undue influence. Whilst international jurisdictions require different thresholds of proof for a finding of undue influence, there is good international consensus on the clinical indicators for the concept.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie (Lang)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie (Lang)
UniBasel Contributors:Stoppe, Gabriela
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 May 2013 09:21
Deposited On:24 May 2013 08:58

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