For a Will to be legally valid, the person must have the required mental capacity at the time of writing. This is also known as being of sound mind. It is important for the person to be of sound mind to ensure that all of their wishes are carried out the way they want them to be.
Mental capacity and contesting a Will go hand in hand, as, if the person did not have the mental capacity to make their Will, then it is one of the stronger reasons to contest the Will. If you believe that they did not have the mental capacity to make or change their Will, then you may be able to contest the Will.
What is Mental Capacity?
Mental capacity, also known as testamentary capacity, means that the person must have the mental ability to understand what they are doing. They must also understand the impact that this will have on their estate and beneficiaries.
Because a lot of people make or change their Will later in life, they can have problems with mental capacity. It can be affected by many conditions and injuries.
Mental Capacity Examples
One of the most common diseases that may affect a person’s mental capacity is Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease is known to affect the brain, and memory. So if a loved one was suffering Alzheimer’s, there is a chance that they may not have been of sound mind when the Will was written. Another example of a condition that may affect a person’s mental capacity is Dementia. If they were suffering from dementia, for example, you may be able to make a case that the last will is invalid.
Injuries can also affect a person’s mental capacity. Examples of this include brain injuries, which can happen at any point in someone’s life. Serious injuries can also affect mental capacity, as can mental illness.
Mental Capacity and Contesting A Will
There are a few reasons you may be able to contest a Will based on the person lacking mental capacity. These include:
- If the Will contradicts earlier promises or agreements
- The Will does not accurately reflect the deceased’s wishes
- It does not provide for those expected, such as grandchildren
- You know the deceased was suffering from a condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
A mental capacity will contest is one of the stronger cases you can make for contesting a will. This is because when you do, there can be evidence they were not mentally well when the last will was made. In this case, the previous Last Will and Testament would instead be the valid Will.
To prove that the deceased lacked mental capacity when making their Will, a solicitor will get their medical records. They will then work with a medical expert. The medical expert can help determine the state of mind that the person was in when they made or changed their Will. This will help in contesting the Will.
How We Can Help
Here at The Inheritance Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with all manner of inheritance claims. This includes contesting a Will based on mental capacity. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138763 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.