Station Road, Sidcup

How can we help?

Please fill in this form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Please enter your name
Please enter your email address
Please enter your telephone number
Please enter a question
Please let us know how you heard about us
Please enter the verification code

We’ll only use this information to handle your enquiry and we won’t share it with any third parties. For more details see our Privacy Policy

Make a Professionally Drafted Will Before Time Catches Up With You

It is a sad fact that many people lose their ability to make rational decisions in old age and that is why it is so vital to make a professionally drafted will before time catches up with you. The point was powerfully made by a High Court ruling.

About three years prior to his death, aged 97, an unmarried and childless man made a will by which he bequeathed the lion's share of his estate to two of his sisters. They having predeceased him, his numerous nieces and nephews were the principal beneficiaries of the disputed will.

The will purported to replace an earlier will he had made when he was in his eighties. By that document, he left the entirety of his estate to his grand-nephew, to whom he was at that time very close. The grand-nephew launched proceedings challenging the validity of the later will.

Ruling on the case, the Court noted that, over a year before he made the disputed will, a GP had described him as increasingly confused. He was subsequently seen by a consultant psychiatrist who said that he was calm, pleasant and cooperative. He was, however, prey to various paranoid and persecutory delusions and had expressed odd or eccentric ideas about his own history. He was diagnosed as suffering from dementia complicated by some psychotic thinking.

Upholding his grand-nephew's claim, the Court found that he lacked the mental capacity required to execute the disputed will. His irrational thought processes were causative of his decision to make it. The Court pronounced in favour of the first will, the provisions of which were rational on their face.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.