In Green v Green [2016] NZCA 486, the Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court's previous ruling that the late Hugh Green's decisions to remove his daughter as trustee of the trusts controlling the Green Group, and to remove her as a director of certain Green Group companies, along with his signing of a new will in April 2012 were the result of undue influence exerted by his son.

While the appeal was predominantly concerned with factual issues, the Court confirmed that impropriety on the part of a defendant was not a requirement for there to be a finding of undue influence. In respect of probate undue influence, the Court declined to hold that it was required that there be "no other possible hypothesis" and instead confirmed that the Court must be satisfied that the circumstances raise a more probable inference in favour of undue influence than not.

The Court also confirmed that while parties exercising general rights of appeal are entitled to the independent opinion of the Court, the appellant has the onus of showing the lower court was in error, and the appellate court will take into account the advantages held by the court of first instance. That is particularly so with respect to factual findings and issues as to the credibility of witnesses.

See the Court's decision here.