Mark Keenan and David Hickmott
Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal
27 August 2014

Undue Influence : Tread carefully

Schomberg v Taylor demonstrates the high evidential burden of challenging a will under undue influence. Mark Keenan and David Hickmott explain.

There are various grounds upon which a challenge to the validity of a will can be based and often cases will be pleaded in the alternative. It is perhaps easy to see why clients, angry that a will makes unexpected provision for an opposing party, would be attracted to arguing undue influence if the facts indicate their involvement in the will making process. In the case of Schomberg v Taylor [2013], the first and second defendants who counterclaimed were able to meet the burden of proof, but the case highlights some of the difficulties that practitioners need to be aware of when dealing with allegations of undue influence.

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