Even when the circumstances surrounding a will are as legally-compliant and straight-forward as possible, it’s still a very distressing and difficult time. Therefore, when the idea of an individual not being of sound mind is taken into account, this can make it significantly more difficult to handle. It’s consequently important to know what to do in the circumstances of an individual being unable to formulate their own will, and The Inheritance Experts are on hand to guide you every step of the way.
What Does It Mean to be ‘Not of Sound Mind’?
To be of a sound mind, a person needs to have full comprehension of their self and their situation. In providing a will, a person needs to fully understand their affairs, loved ones and possessions. In turn, they must be able to formulate a will with a complete understanding of how they’ll distribute their assets. To be of sound mind, you also need to be able to make rational decisions and judgements.
This is different from being in a state of emotional capacity. Formulating a will in the first place is never easy. But being emotional or sensitive regarding the distribution doesn’t mean you’re incapable of making a logical choice.
What Needs to Be Done in this Case?
When an individual is not of sound mind, they’re incapable of making a rational decision in regards to:
- finances, and/or;
- general affairs.
In turn, you should appoint a representative to make the decision on their behalf. This representative can distribute their assets accordingly and make the decision for them.
Electing an individual to this responsibility can either be a family member or friend, or a legal representative. Appointing the latter is most common due to the need for neutrality and a more analytical mindset.
Contesting a Will if you Think an Individual is Not of Sound Mind
It is possible to dispute a will if you are an external party who believes that the individual in question was non-compos mentis when they wrote their will. However, it can become very difficult to define being of a rational mind.
It’s different to making a decision which seems unexpected or nonsensical to a loved one or familiar individual. The writer of a will can make a rational and personal decision whilst also being of sound mind, even if that decision isn’t preferable to parties involved. This may be more in relation to an eccentric personality rather than a lack of rationality.
One must provide solid proof to attest that a person was not of sound mind when formulating their will. Of course, this then leads to difficulties in handling such a sensitive matter, which is why we encourage you to seek expert legal advice.
If you are unsure whether an individual is of unsound mind and require legal assistance, then don’t hesitate to contact The Inheritance Experts today.