Capacity to make a will
The person making the will must have understood the nature of making the will, the extent of the property which he/she was disposing of and the claims to which he ought to give effect to.
These principals where established in a very old case called Banks –v- Goodfellow. Will disputes are common when the testator may have been suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The Courts have established something known as the Golden Rule which provides guidance to Solicitors when preparing wills involving a vulnerable or elderly person.
The Golden rule provides that a medical guidance should be sought so as to determine whether the Testator had the appropriate mental capacity to make a will. This will often be the GP.
Sadly,we have acted in numerous cases, when wills have been prepared just days before the Deceased's death or while the Testator has been in hopsital, with no attempt made to ensure that the Deceased had the required capacity. As a result of this, we have been able to establish that as the Deceased failed to understand the terms of the will , the will fails
Family disputes over wills
If you are a family member unhappy, with a will that has been altered very close to a Deceased's death, we and are currently acting in numerous cases relating to capacity issues concerning wills altered close to the Testators death or when the person making the will is elderly or vulnerable.