WHAT IS UNDUE INFLUENCE?
Geraldine Coffey earned $130,000 a year for the past 20 years as a nurse caring for Huguette Clark, a reclusive copper heiress, who resided alone in a 42-room Manhattan apartment with only her extensive collection of dolls and Coffey to keep her company. There are allegations that the nurse nagged the elderly woman to give her a $7.5 million apartment and purportedly put her own needs before those of her patient. In addition, she received “gifts” in the amount of $385,000 to buy real estate in New York and $85,000 for school fees for her children.
Licensees should be aware that transfers that are the result of undue influence are void. Undue influence is the misuse of one’s role and power to exploit the trust, dependence, and fear of another to deceptively gain control over that person’s decision in a particular matter. Certain transfers are presumed to be the result of undue influence, and void, if the transfer is to a transferee who is:
(a) The person who drafted the transfer instrument;
(b) A caregiver of the transferor;
(c) A person who arranged for or paid for the drafting of the transfer instrument; or
(d) A person who is related to, affiliated with or subordinate to any person described in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).
Real Estate Agents owe an absolute duty of fidelity to their clients. Have you ever sat at a listing appointment with an elderly prospective client and his/her adult child? Who does all the talking? Does the senior seem like they really understand what is going on and agrees with the sale of their home? Doesn’t this duty require a Licensee to make an inquiry or take certain action under these circumstances?
Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.