Why a Sound Mind is Essential for Your Last Will and Testament

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Legal Services | Comments Off on Why a Sound Mind is Essential for Your Last Will and Testament

Why a Sound Mind is Essential for Your Last Will and Testament
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There is a good reason why you must be of sound mind when you pass over the information necessary for a professional to write your last will and testament, which you will sign in front of witnesses so that the document is 100% valid when it is used, after your death. You have to understand what you’re doing when you make these major decisions in your life about who you are going to leave your estate to, when you are writing your will.

Anyone may contest your will after you have died, but if you do not understand the documents that you are signing, individuals may convince a court that your will is invalid.

Real court case

There was a recent case highlighted on the NottinghamPost.com website, where a person changed their will nine days before they committed suicide, leaving a major part of their estate to someone they didn’t know; their doctor’s daughter. At this time, the situation may look suspicious, but if the person was of a sound mind when they made their will, a court may decide that the decision will stand. It is only if the court can be persuaded that the lady in question changed her will without understanding the implications of what she was doing, will the judge change the direction of the estate so that the closest relatives receive the bungalow and other assets.

There is a difficult period where individuals may not understand the decisions being asked for when their last will and testament is being written, but on other occasions they may completely understand because their mental capacity differs by the day or by the hour. Only a doctor qualified in this specialised area, preferably complemented by a qualified witness can lay down in writing that they consider a person of sound mind when the will is read to them, explained and understood.

It is better, if not essential, that people named to receive part or all of the estate are kept at an arm’s length from the professionals when you are writing your will. This will prevent anyone influencing you, unduly, when you write your will.

Being of unsound mind should not be confused with undue influence where people suggest what you should do with your estate when you are writing your will. However, it is easy to see that where your mind is wavering and you are not able to make understandable decisions, it may become easy for someone to unduly influence who you should leave your money and your property to.

Here is the link to the website the details of this unfortunate situation.

Where you believe that someone may become unsound in their mind in the future, it is best to encourage them to write or update their will by taking professional legal advice as soon as possible so that it is valid while they understand the nature and the importance of the document they are completing.


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