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Anna99

Anna99

Registered User
May 11, 2015
1
I have a relative who is under the care of our local alzheimers clinic and she has been diagnosed with early onset alzheimers. One of her beneficiaries would like her to change her Will which is not supported by the other beneficiaries. How is legal capacity assessed?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,015
West Hertfordshire
If she's been diagnosed formerly, it could be said that she has lost capacity.

She certainly shouldn't change her will at anyones request anyway.

Very dodgy ground

The GP might advise.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,066
North Manchester
IANAL but understand that the test for Testamentary Capacity is that the testator must:-

● understand the nature of the will and its effect

● have some idea of the extent of the estate they are disposing under the will

● be aware of the persons for whom the testator would usually be expected to provide (even if they choose not to) and be free from any delusion of the mind that would cause them reason not to benefit those people.

It would be wise for the will to be witnessed by a suitable medical professional.

Iin some cases beneficiaries may discuss the will in conjunction with the testator but if there is conflict between the beneficiaries and the capacity of the testator may be in doubt I would tread very carefully.

The beneficiary concerned could, after the death of the testator, change the terms of the will by Deed of Variation if the other beneficiaries agreed.
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
My mother mad a change to her will well before she had any signs of dementia. She wanted me to go to the solicitor with her as she was quite deaf and had mobility problems. The solicitor allowed me to help mum explain what she wanted but also insisted that she spoke to mum alone to make sure that it was truly her wish to make the change and she had not been influenced by anyone else.

I realise now she was also checking that mum had capacity to understand what was being proposed as was her professional duty and obligation. Mum was surprised though; she kept saying 'but I trust you implicitly'.

No beneficiary of any will (or indeed anyone who thinks they should be a beneficiary) should be trying to lobby for a change; it's not their decision to make and is in my view unethical and improper. Even if the testator now has dementia, he or she made their decision when of sound mind and that should be respected.
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
No beneficiary of any will (or indeed anyone who thinks they should be a beneficiary) should be trying to lobby for a change; it's not their decision to make and is in my view unethical and improper. Even if the testator now has dementia, he or she made their decision when of sound mind and that should be respected.
Agreed.