Case Study – Schrader v Schrader  EWHC 466 (Ch)
A more recent case, Schrader v Schrade, illustrates the elements relevant to a finding of undue influence. Factors such as the individual’s vulnerability, dependency on a forceful family member, inaccurate reasons for changing the will, and a desire to “even things up” were crucial in the court’s finding that the will was invalid for undue influence.
Fraudulent Calumny – Poisoning of Affections
Fraudulent calumny is a lesser known but significant form of undue influence. This occurs when someone influences another to include or exclude specific individuals from a will based on false information or lies. The leading case on this matter in which Hugh James acted for the successful claimant is Re Edwards  EWHC 1119 (Ch), where the court found that the defendant had poisoned the affections of his mother, Winifred, and frightened her into making a will that favoured him in place of his brother, and our client, John. The court set aside the will on the basis of fraudulent calumny.
Whether through traditional undue influence or fraudulent calumny, recognising the signs and legal precedents can be instrumental in ensuring a fair and just resolution.
If you have concerns over a will or are facing a will dispute contact us to speak to one of our lawyers.