Contesting a Will due to mental capacity of the deceased

It is not uncommon for a Will to be challenged because someone questions the mental capacity of the person who signed the Will.

For a Will to be considered valid, the person who is making the Will must have an awareness of the consequences of his or her actions. If testamentary capacity is disputed by a beneficiary, the court will consider a number of factors when determining whether the person was of sufficient soundness of mind. If one of the essential elements of producing a Will is absent, a person may not be seen to have testamentary capacity.

As a general rule, when making a Will, individuals must:

  1. understand the nature of their assets
  2. understand who their beneficiaries are
  3. not be suffering from a condition or illness that would prevent them from making a rational decision

If there is any reason why you may fear that your own testamentary capacity may be in dispute, and your Will subject to litigation after you die, there are a number of actions that you may take to prevent this from happening: 

  • You can attach a medical certificate to your Will
  • Include formal statements from witnesses testifying to your mental capacity during the drafting of the Will
  • You can video tape the signing of your Will 

If you have questions about testamentary capacity, or you need the help of a Connecticut probate attorney, please call us at 860-259-1575.