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Discuss Your Estate Concerns With An Experienced And Compassionate Lawyer
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Discuss Your Estate Concerns With An Experienced And Compassionate Lawyer

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Should I contest a will if the testator had dementia?

Should I contest a will if the testator had dementia?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2018 | Estate Planning

If you have concerns about the validity of a will due to the decedent’s mental capacity before death, taking action may be the right thing to do.

Read on to learn more about who can contest a will and the conditions for a person’s dementia to play a role.

Only interested persons allowed

According to the probate code, only those classified as an “interested person” can legally contest a will. While many parties may believe themselves to be interested, only the following may challenge a will:

  • Beneficiaries named in the will
  • Heirs — spouse, children of the decedent, grandchildren, parents, siblings and grandparents
  • Creditors
  • Others claiming a property right

Challenging testamentary capacity

Testamentary capacity refers to whether a person is able to make a testament that reasonably reflects his or her true wishes. Reasons why an adult may not have had testamentary capacity include:

  • Dementia
  • Senility
  • Depression
  • Insanity
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Intoxication

Generally, there must be evidence that the testator lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of the choices made in the will. Examples could include cases where the testator did not understand who the beneficiaries of the will were, the value of his or her assets or what a will is used for.

Getting help with your case

If you believe your case fits the bill, talk to an attorney about your options. A lawyer can layout the legal intricacies of contesting a will and align them with a solid defense for your position.

Gaining legal representation could mean the difference between going along with false wishes or honoring what your loved one would have truly wanted before the disease.