Disputing a Will on grounds of Mental Incapacity

By Katie Kearns

Cases where the validity of a Will are challenged on the grounds that a person making the Will does not have the relevant mental capacity are on the increase.  Unfortunately, instances of dementia are increasing in a population where general life expectancy is growing.  This has given rise to the potential for questions to arise relating to the capacity of the person to decide on the provisions of their Will.

The Wills Act 1837 requires that a Testator (the person making the Will) knows and approves the contents of the their Will.

If you or someone you know is looking to make a Will and consider there may be concerns regarding necessary capacity to do so, then it is worth speaking to a solicitor.  A solicitor will take steps to ensure that at the time the Will is made the Testator was able to understand and accept the terms of the Will and hopefully avoid potential problems once the Testator dies.

Obviously, if a solicitor deems that the proposed Testator does not have sufficient capacity to make a Will, a solicitor will not prepare one.

Equally, if you discover that someone has made a Will at a time when you think their capacity was an issue then this may result on grounds to challenge the validity of that Will.  Medical evidence will be paramount and there are set procedures and protocols to consider.  Therefore if you do have concerns, please contact Katie Kearns on 02476 553181 for a free initial consultation to discuss the matter.