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Proof of Undue Influence at Trial in the Orange County, California, Superior Court


In my last post, the person who I had accused of Undue Influence (California Civil Code §1575 ), had taken the witness stand during the trial of the case. Recall that I had alleged that my client’s elderly cousin once removed, had been unduly influenced by this person, his hired caregiver, to the extent that he revoked my client’s Power of Attorney (California Probate Code §4022), which gave her the authority and the responsibility to take care of his financial affairs, and gave that power to this caregiver. It was time for my cross-examination.

Just before I began questioning the caregiver, my client had the presence of mind to tell me that after the Power of Attorney had been taken from her, her cousin had transferred ownership of his home to his caregiver. I asked the caregiver is she owned the residence in which my client’s elderly cousin resided; she said yes … I then asked her how it came to be that she became the owner of this senior’s residence. Her response amounted to an admission on her part that she was guilty of Undue Influence. This is what she said to me and to the court:

Of course I had him deed me the house. You can’t let old people keep their houses, the state will get them when they die

Needless to say, the court found in favor of my client, finding that the deed to my client’s cousin’s house, transferring it the caregiver, had been the product of Undue Influence, along with the Power of Attorney that had been given to the caregiver. Both were voided by the Court. My client was, of course, pleased, as was I, with this outcome.

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