A recent court case in which the validity of a Will made by an elderly testatrix was considered could affect charitable legacies.
Sinclair Taylor & Martin, the Charity Team
at Solicitors Russell-Cooke have reported on
the recent case of Hoff v Atherton (2004) in which the Court had to consider the validity of a Will made by an elderly testatrix who was suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer-type dementia when she made the Will.
The Court decided that the Will was valid in that, on the balance of probabilities, she was capable of understanding the nature of a Will and was giving the residue to the Defendant.
Sinclair Taylor & Martin commented in their latest newsletter that, as a result of this decision, “charity staff dealing with legacies should be aware that where there is a history of mental illness, there is no presumption of competence and it will be for those persons seeking to rely on the Will to prove the testator’s capacity.”
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