Claims of Undue Influence, Coercion and Duress in Elder Financial Exploitation Lawsuits

HNWElder Abuse and Financial Exploitation, Elder Law

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Elder Abuse and/or Financial Exploitation Attorney

The most commonly used theory for law suits filed by Hanlon Niemann in cases involving elder financial exploitation are undue influence (, coercion and duress.

These legal theories claim that the elderly victim, when executing a legal document or otherwise, was unable to voluntarily exercise his or her own free will due to the undue influence, coercion or duress wielded by another person over him or her.  Undue influence, coercion and duress can be thought of as a trilogy, sort of. At one end, putting a gun to a person’s head and ordering him or her to sign a deed would be an example of duress.  At the other end, a family member suggesting that they might have to place an elderly parent in a nursing home unless the parent starts “gifting” to him or her could be an example of undue influence.  Coercion lies somewhere in the middle of the two. Because these theories are closely related and part of the same continuum, they are often alleged consecutively and in the alternative.  In New Jersey, there is a presumption of undue influence where the legal document was written or procured by a person who largely benefitted by it; or where a fiduciary relationship exists between the parties.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey elder abuse and/or financial exploitation matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at


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