Testamentary Capacity

Lewis Carroll’s famed heroine Alice once told her friend, “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret all the best people are.” To be a Mad Hatter was something to celebrated.

Unfortunately, we are not in Wonderland, and mental competence matters when making decisions about one’s estate and well-being. A mentally competent person can divide up his or her estate however he or she wants. None of his or her relatives is legally entitled to an inheritance, nor is there any obligation to prioritize one beneficiary over another. However, if the person making the will or trust was not mentally competent at the time of drafting or execution, then the will can be contested in court.

Issues of competence are often open to interpretation and conflict. The elderly or persons in poor health may forget details about their situation or the people in their lives. However, forgetting the names of grandchildren or not remembering every account doesn’t necessarily demonstrate mental incompetence. Essentially, if an individual does not understand he or she is making or signing a will, they aren’t mentally competent. Perfect memory is not a requirement for a sound mind.

The Boesch Law Group has represented parties whose mental state has been called into question. The BLG team protected their clients’ estates and caretakers to make sure that decisions were being made by those mentally capable of making them.

When you feel like you’re at a mad tea party, we can help you find your wonderland.

 

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