An executor holds a position of high esteem and power in any estate plan. For most people, their executor remains a stalwart figure they can trust through thick and thin, depend on, and rely on to carry out their wishes no matter what.
But unfortunately, some executors are not in it for the person they serve. They are simply in it for the money, the power or the assets, and they will act in underhanded and manipulative ways to get what they want.
Isolating the victim
Cornell Law School discusses undue influence in estate planning. Undue influence involves a manipulator – sometimes the executor, sometimes another party, and sometimes multiple people working together – using various tactics to fool the person to whom the estate belongs.
In many cases, these tactics involve manipulation and isolation. The manipulator wants to keep the victim isolated in order to control the flow of information they hear. They will twist a victim’s opinions of other people, ruin their personal relationships and make sure no one can interfere.
Exertion of control
They will also try to gain control over many different aspects of the victim’s life. For example, they may refuse to let anyone else make the victim’s medical appointments and may demand to handle all matters regarding medication his or herself, i.e. dosing, purchasing prescriptions and so on.
The victim often ends up in an extremely controlling situation, and the loneliness they suffer from can even lead to anxiety or depression.
The tactics that manipulators use can do lasting damage to the emotional and mental well-being of the victim. For this reason and many others, it is crucial for those who notice something amiss to discuss options for launching an investigation into a potentially corrupt executor.