confidential relation

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Confidential relations can refer to an actual fiduciary relationship, such as between a lawyer and client, or, more informally, a relationship of trust and reliance, such as between a parent and child. The term frequently arises in allegations of undue influence, often involving wills where suspicious circumstances exist. A beneficiary to a will who possessed confidential relations with the testator may be accused of exerting undue influence in procuring the will. 

This New Jersey Supreme Court case states: “A confidential relationship arises where trust is reposed by reason of the testator’s weakness or dependence or where the parties occupied relations in which reliance is naturally inspired or in fact exists, as the relation between client and attorney.”

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]