When an elderly woman left a will that excluded one of her sons, who had been charged with (but not convicted of) several counts of fraud in relation to a business he ran with her other son, the disinherited son claimed that she had lacked the mental capacity to make a will and should be treated as having died intestate.

The solicitor instructed by the woman to draw up the will had taken appropriate care and obtained her specific confirmation that she wished to disinherit her son. He had also satisfied himself that she was mentally capable.

He was therefore robust in his assertion that she did have ‘testamentary capacity’, and a barrister who had acted for her in the recent past gave evidence in support of his contention. Although the woman took medication for depression, a medical expert gave evidence that this would not have deprived her of mental capacity.

The challenge to the will was therefore rejected.


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