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Can I Challenge A Will On The Grounds Of Testamentary Capacity?

You may be able to pursue an inheritance dispute based on concerns regarding testamentary capacity.

Are you considering challenging a will in Stockport? Testamentary capacity may be an area you wish to explore before contacting a qualified lawyer in the region.

People must have sound memory, mind and understanding when they write a will. In other words, they must fully comprehend the effect of producing such a document.

Britain is an ageing nation, with 23.2 million people in the country aged 50 or over. This figure represents over one-third of the population, with more individuals aged 60 and above than there is aged 18 and below. 

Unfortunately, dementia and other diseases become much more prevalent as people grow older. Deteriorating cognitive capacity could have a significant impact on a person's ability to write a legitimate will.

A landmark case in 1870 still sets out the main tests for judging whether or not an individual had the appropriate testamentary capacity to complete a valid will. The Banks versus Goodfellow ruling put forward three considerations:

  • Did the testator (the person who wrote the will) understand the nature of a will and its purpose?
  • Did the testator have some idea as to the extent of their estate? I.E Were they aware of their level of wealth?
  • Was the testator aware of the beneficiaries for which they were expected to provide, even if they chose not to bequeath them assets?

If you feel your loved one failed one or more of these testamentary capacity tests, it may be worth getting in touch with an experienced law firm in Stockport to discuss your concerns.  

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