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Dementia sufferer’s will successfully challenged

A man’s will made shortly before he died has been overturned because he had been suffering from dementia and did not understand what he was doing when he left all his estate to his carer.

The court heard that the man had made a will in 2003 when he was in good health. This will was drawn up for him by his family solicitor who knew him well.

However, the man’s health then began to deteriorate and he needed the help of a long term carer. In 2007, his solicitor received a letter saying the man had made a new will leaving everything to the carer.

The solicitor visited the man who told him he knew nothing about the new will and suspected that someone might have been doing things behind his back.

Shortly after making the second will, the man was examined by a consultant psychiatrist who diagnosed that he was suffering from dementia. The psychiatrist noted that he seemed muddled when talking about legal matters and didn’t seem to fully understand important issues relating to his affairs.

After the man’s death, the second will was challenged by his family.

The court held that on the balance of probabilities, it was unlikely that he understood the effect of the 2007 will when he entered into it. There was no evidence of any circumstances that would lead to a radical change from the terms of the original will made in 2003.

The judge ruled that the man lacked the necessary capacity to enter into a valid will in 2007. The 2003 will should therefore be reinstated as the true reflection of his wishes.

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