When a dispute exists concerning a person’s will, one of the most common questions is whether that individual had the capacity to create the document in question. It is often quite difficult to challenge a will. Unless it can be demonstrated that the individual had a lack of capacity, a challenger will be unlikely to raise a strong case. In deciding whether a person lacked capacity to create an estate planning document, it is often vital to review a person’s medical records.
If you believe that a person lacked the capacity to create a will and now wish to challenge the document, it is important to understand exactly what lack of capacity in Oklahoma estate planning means. Many individuals also discover that it is just as important to obtain the services of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.
What Constitutes Lack of Capacity
A person’s mental capacity encompasses that individual’s ability to make rational decision and to process information. A person who has a lack of capacity often experiences difficulty analyzing details.
Why Lack of Capacity is Unique
There are many medical conditions that can result in a person experiencing lack of capacity. Some of these conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia due to Parkinson’s Disease. Once a person begins to experience the symptoms of these diseases, his or her ability to make proper decisions is often uncertain. By the time the disease has progressed significantly, a person often requires assistance performing daily living activities. Merely being diagnosed with these or other similar illnesses, however, is often not enough to satisfy lack of capacity in an estate planning context.
Instead, it is important to remember that testamentary capacity is different from other types of capacity. As a result, to prove lack of capacity in these situations, a person must demonstrate more than that an individual was diagnosed with a mental condition that would affect their incapacity. Many times, even demonstrating that a person’s capacity prevented them from entering into other types of contracts is insufficient to demonstrate a lack of capacity. A very high threshold must be met to satisfy lack of capacity.
How an Oklahoma Estate Planning Attorney can Help
Sometimes, it can be easy to establish that a family member lacked adequate capacity to create a will or other type of estate planning document. In other situations, however, it can be difficult, including situations in which a family member might have had the early onset of a disease. In either situation, there can be significant amounts of assets on the line due to the estate left by the deceased loved one.
No matter your exact situation, an estate planning attorney like Jim A Lyon can prove helpful in analyzing the facts of your case and creating a strong legal strategy to convince a probate court that the deceased family member lacked consent. Contact Attorney Lyon today to obtain strong legal representation in navigating your lack of capacity case.