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Understanding the definition of testamentary capacity

Challenging the course of probate can be difficult after the death of a loved one, but if you feel strongly that your loved one's will is not valid, it is important that you take action to restore justice. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons why a will may be invalid is because the maker of the will lacked the testamentary capacity to state their wishes. This may have been because of dementia, a brain injury or because the maker of the will had a mental health issue.

If you can prove that your loved one lacked the testamentary capacity to make a will, it is possible to successfully challenge the will and redirect the course of probate. It is vital that you understand the way that the law defines testamentary capacity in Ohio before taking action to address this issue.

What is the meaning of testamentary capacity?

For a person to have testamentary capacity in the eyes of the law, they need to understand the extent of the property that they own, and what the consequences of disposing of their property or leaving it to another person will be.

The question of whether a person had a testamentary capacity to make their will in an informed way can be a very subjective one. This is because we are dealing with the nature of a person's mental faculties at a certain point in time.

What can complicate things further is the fact that people suffering with conditions such as dementia can change quite dramatically in their mental faculties from day to day. For example, on one day they may be lucid and able to function completely normally, whereas on the next day they could be feeling confused.

Why are elderly people particularly vulnerable when making a will?

When a person has a lack of testamentary capacity, they can be influenced easily. This might mean that they will fall under the influence of manipulative and fraudulent people, and, as a result, they may change the instructions in their will.

If you believe that your loved one created a will when they did not have testamentary capacity to do so, it is important that you take action.

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