When making a Will the person involved (the Testator) must be of sound mind, as without this a Will would not be valid. With the population increasingly living into old age, it is becoming more common for people to start disputing Wills based on what they believe was the Testator’s lack of mental capacity. It is estimated that up to 2 million people in the UK suffer from a form of brain injury or dementia.
Mental Capacity Act 2005 and recent case law developments in this area have led to new guidelines being drawn up by the Law Society and the British Medical Association. These are designed to assist doctors and lawyers in their assessment of a person’s mental capacity. These guidelines can also be useful to anyone who is caring for someone whose mental capacity is in doubt.
A copy of these guidelines can be purchased from a number of online booksellers or from the Law Society. The cost is £39.95, so you may want to wait until your local reference library has a copy in stock, or alternatively some free information in available at the Department of Health website.