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Undue Influence Inter Vivos and the Elderly

39 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2007  

Fiona Burns

The University of Sydney Law School


This article seeks to fill a significant gap in the legal literature concerning undue influence inter vivos. It considers the modern meaning and application of the doctrine from the perspective of the elderly claimant in Australia. In order to do so, there is an investigation of recent cases where elders have sought to have a variety of transactions set aside and have relied on undue influence inter vivos. The survey shows that where elders are concerned, courts generally apply high thresholds before relief is granted. Various possible reforms are canvassed. It is contended that a broad-based legislative reform of undue influence inter vivos is necessary, both to protect elders and to allow them the freedom to deal confidently with their own assets.

Keywords: undue influence, elders, mortgages, guarantees, gifts

JEL Classification: K10, J14, K40

Suggested Citation

Burns, Fiona, Undue Influence Inter Vivos and the Elderly. Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2002; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/44. Available at SSRN:

Fiona Burns (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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