- Roger Jacobs befriended T in March 1988.
- At the time, T was in her 70s and lived alone with the occasional visit from her sister
- Jacobs visited T at least once, if not 2-3 times per day
- Jacobs helped T around the house and drove her to various errands and appointments
- T came to depend on Jacobs
- In Nov. 1988, T executed a power of attorney to Jacobs and a new will that left all but $1,000 of her $268,000 estate to Jacobs
- Lawyer was Jacobs’ cousin
- Jacobs used approx. $129,000 of T’s money for his own or others benefit from Sept. 1988 to June 1990.
- Jacobs had given $72,000 to a friend of his who T did not even know
- In June 1990, T lived in squalor and filth and many of her payments had not been made
- T executed a general revocation of POA in June 1990
- T died on Sept. 4, 1993.
- TC put burden on Jacob’s to rebut presumption of undue influence.
- TC found for P
- With whom does the burden of proving/disproving undue influence lie?
- When the proponent of a will proves that the formalities of execution have been followed, a contestant who claims that there has been undue influence has the burden of proof.
- The burden of proof may be shifted so as to require the proponent to disprove undue influence.
- To do so, the contestant must prove by clear and convincing evidence
- That there was a confidential relationship
- That the person enjoying such relationship received the bulk of the estate and
- That the decedent’s intellect was weakened
- Can be shifted in certain circumstances
- D did not meet burden
- TC affirmed
- Burden shifting elements were met
- POA was sufficient in and of itself to show a confidential relationship existed
Jacobs must show absence of undue influence by clear and convincing evidence