Zoldan v. Zohlman, 2005 WL 3180190 (Fla. 3d DCA Nov 30, 2005) The decedent was 90 years old when his 78 year old wife threatened to divorce him unless he signed an irrevocable contract requiring him to treat his step-daughter as an heir equal to his three sons under his will. Afraid he might be abandoned/divorced if he didn’t comply, the decedent signed the contract. That was enough for Dade County Judge Herbert Stettin to invalidate the whole deal on undue influence grounds. The Third DCA said not so fast, reversing on the grounds that wanting to keep your wife happy does not undue influence make. Well, OK, that’s not what they said exactly, but it’s what they meant. The Third DCA’s more judicious way of making the point was as follows:

The Florida Probate Code provides that a will is void, either wholly or in part, if its execution is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence. 2004->Ch0732->Section%205165#0732.5165″>§ 732.5165, Fla. Stat. (2003). The undue influence required for invalidation of a testamentary document is conduct amounting to duress, force, or coercion to such a degree that the free agency and willpower of the testator is destroyed. Mere affection and attachment or a desire to gratify the wishes of one who is esteemed or trusted may not alone be sufficient to amount to undue influence. E.g., In re Peters’ Estate, 155 Fla. 453, 20 So.2d 487, 492 (Fla.1945); Derovanesian v. Derovanesian, 857 So.2d 240 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003), rev. denied,868 So.2d 522 (Fla.2004); Raimi v. Furlong, 702 So.2d 1273, 1287 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997); Coppock v. Carlson, 547 So.2d 946 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989); and cases cited therein. (Emphasis added)