We all work hard throughout our lives to accumulate assets. But what happens to those assets when you die? Everyone should be able to distribute their assets after their death in accordance with their wishes whilst they were still alive. Your executor can only distribute your assets according to your wishes if you have a valid Will. There are certain circumstances which can cause a Will to be ruled invalid. One of those circumstances is a lack of testamentary capacity.
What is testamentary capacity? Testamentary capacity is a legal phrase which is used to describe a person’s mental ability, or capacity to make and/or alter a Will. It is usually the case that a challenge to someone’s testamentary capacity happens in their older years when illnesses like dementia are taking effect.
It is important that when any person is making a Will, they fully understand what property they are disposing of, who they are disposing that property to and who is eligible to make a claim against their estate. If certain persons, or relatives are not considered equally, it is just as important for a solicitor preparing the Will to ensure that the person making the will has testamentary capacity and is not inhibited in any way at the time of making the Will.
If a solicitor is concerned that a person does not have testamentary capacity it will be necessary for that person to seek further medical advice about whether they have capacity to make the Will. This is usually evidenced by way of a medical certificate.
If you know somebody who is elderly and over 70 or vulnerable it is important that you advise them to attend upon our firm MCG Legal, who is experienced in drafting Wills and taking instructions from the elderly and dealing with issues of testamentary capacity.
We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today.