Protect Against Unsound Mind

If in England and Wales anybody questions your mental sanity; especially in relation to the choices you made within your Last Will and Testament and do so after your earthly departure then this could threaten to undermine the validity of you’re an English or Welsh Last Will and Testament.  There are a number of conditions and circumstances which go towards determining whether to validate their claim that you were suffering an insanity of the mind.  Should they be successful in making their claim; then, unfortunately in this event your entire well laid out plans will become worthless.  So heed the advice given below and make your Last Will and Testament as uphold able as possible and steadfast against any challenges that might be made against it. 

What you may need to understand is that right here and now you could be clearly considered as being of sound mind.  You might be getting treatment for a minor ailment which presently has a minimal effect on you; however, given time these effects could become overpowering and when the time of your actual demise occurs you might not have been considered of sound mind.  Could anyone use your last mental condition and try to claim it’s been something that earlier in time when you wrote your Last Will and Testament you were suffering and being affected by it?  Remember memories and records might become vague after some months or years have elapsed.  Such ambiguity will form a weakened defence in a court of law and this is something you would want to take steps ahead of time to prevent; as after your death its completely out of your control.

If you believe there is any probability that your mental well-being may well be questioned by anybody after you have departed; whether rightly or wrongly, then consult with your doctor, psychiatrist or other medical professional who can validate your mental well being.  Do this ideally on the day of conducting your English or Welsh Last Will and Testament or as close to the date as possible; with after possibly being more prudent than doing it beforehand as no deterioration since the date of your Last Will and Testament can be thrown in there.  Some people experience good and bad days to their health.  If this is you; then doing your Last Will and Testament on the same day is the safest bet.   

Arrange a medical certificate or other form of sworn statement from the chosen medical professional which declares that in their expert belief you were mentally able and sufficiently coherent enough to create your Last Will and Testament.  Another option could be to have them as a witness to your Last Will and Testament; your chosen medical professional will make a formidable witness; remember to apply the full and correct procedures for witnesses as this witness could prove vital to upholding the validity of your Last Will and Testament after your death.  A third option could be to have them present throughout the creation of the Last Will and Testament; this way they can satisfy themselves that you understand, know and can fully comprehend the choices you are making.  Although it isn’t a lawful necessity in England and Wales, a medical professional would be the best testimony to your mental health and subsequently make a good witness.

If you managed to get a certificate or sworn statement then keep it with your Will and Testament and keep them appropriately safe.  Please bear in mind that the medical person creating this signed testimony to your mental well being could very well need to be available upon your demise to be a witness in case where your Last Will and Testament is contested on the ground of unsound mental health.  So ideally it would be an advantage to make sure they are as local as possible to wherever you live within England or Wales.

The medical judgment of a professional whilst being a great testament that you’re of sound mind; it does not automatically stop a contest of your English or Welsh Last Will and Testament on the grounds of an unsound mind.  It will however make it more difficult for the challenge to succeed unless they can provide a more credible professional opinion or other sufficient factual evidence.  Not an easy feat. 

The relevance of a sound mind applies within England & Wales to the time at which a Last Will and Testament was drawn up; not to the persons mental state at the time they departed.  Anybody may create his or her own last will and testament, though when an English or Welsh court reviews the circumstances present at the time the Last Will & Testament was created then it may well be chosen to hold no lawful weight.  When this occurs the Will may be altered by the English or Welsh courts or invalidated entirely and in such an event the rulings of intestacy for England and Wales may preside in part or in entirety over the estate. 

If a person is mentally inadequate and as such inept of completing a Last Will and Testament or a codicil to a Last Will and Testament herself or himself; all is not necessarily lost; as the Court of Protection for England & Wales might still authorise the producing of these documents (subject to the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983).

SEE ALSO:

Introduction To Intestate
Appointing An Executor.
Rules Surrounding Guardianship
Selecting Your Guardian
Automatic Guardianship
Appointing A Guardian
Trusts
Parental Responsibility
Changing Guardianship
Money For Child And Guardian
Wills & Family

 

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