IN the present litigious environment many Wills are challenged which question the capacity of the testator when making the Will.
When taking instructions to make a Will a professional has to consider a variety of matters.
To start with, who made the appointment? If not the client then who and why someone else?
Is there any reason to doubt the client’s capacity from the interview arrangements?
At the interview is there any evidence the client is under some form of influence? For example are any of the main beneficiaries present when taking the instructions?
Is there an existing Will in place and if so what are the reasons for making a new one and why are changes being made?
Does the testator have any medical problems for which medication is being taken? If so could this affect the the mental state of the testator? It may be necessary to obtain a doctor’s letter to confirm capacity where medication could have an effect. If there is any doubt over this then it may even be advisable to ask the Doctor to be a witness to the Will when it is signed
.Once deceased any one of these problems could give rise to a claim against the estate by a disgruntled family member or beneficiary who thinks they are entitled to more.
The answer is to make a Will whilst you are fully capable and ensure your assets reach the desired beneficiaries without any fear of challenge.