Call for a Free Consultation


Options If a Parent Is Not of Sound Mind While Drafting a Will

 Posted on April 09, 2024 in Wills

CA estate lawyerWhen people leave a last will and testament behind, their loved ones often consider it a wonderful gift. When someone describes in detail how they want their estate to continue after their passing and what they wish to bestow upon those who live after them, it can help prevent arguments between relatives and stress stemming from uncertainty about what to do.

However, wills are not something that every person is entitled to draw up no matter what. For a will to be considered valid, the person who created it needs to demonstrate that they had testamentary capacity at the time they were writing it up. This means they need to have mental competence or the will is invalid.

If your loved one is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's, or other mental issues, it can be a painful time for both you and them in general, and painful for you to prove they are mentally incapacitated for legal purposes in particular. The law allows you to contest the will if you have reason to believe that it does not represent their true intentions. Speak with a compassionate Los Angeles, CA estate planning attorney who can help you navigate this complicated situation.

How Can I Prove Testamentary Incapacity?

There are several ways the person writing a will, or testator, needs to demonstrate that they are mentally capable of doing so. These include the ability to:

  • Recognize their potential heirs
  • Understand their estate, including property and other assets they own
  • Articulate how they want to distribute their assets when they die
  • Comprehend the significance of a will

Courts in the state of California prefer leaving it up to the testator to decide how their property and assets will be divided. If they were diagnosed with mental impairment but can still demonstrate testamentary capacity, their will is likely to be legally valid and held up in court.

If your loved one lacks testamentary capacity, the will they wrote is invalidated. If that happens, the court will not enforce it, and their estate will be divided up based on California’s intestate succession laws.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an L.A. County, CA Estate Lawyer

Watching a parent lose their memory and mental capacity is difficult as it is. If this impairment also leads them to make decisions you know they otherwise would not have made, speak with David Schechet, a compassionate Los Angeles, CA estate planning attorney with over 35 years of experience handling all types of estate planning cases. Call Law Office of David Schechet at 800-282-4731 to schedule a free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top