1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. 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?
     
  2. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    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.
     
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,025
    Male
    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.
     
  4. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    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.
     
  5. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Agreed.
     

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