My mother is in a nursing home and has been coerced into changing her will. Can I do anything?
I am one of two children. My mother is 85 and is quite wealthy. She has left all her property to the church but my younger sister does not believe in religion and has gone to the hospital and got her to change her will.
I don’t know who the beneficiaries now are for sure but my sister told me in an argument the other day that when mum passes, she will have it all and the church can go to hell.
What can I do?
Your mother is entitled to change her will provided she is of sound mind. In legal terms this is called ‘Testamentary Capacity’ ie a person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will. This concept has also been called sound mind and memory or disposing mind and memory.
If she is suffering from any form of dementia, alzheimers or other disease or illness which may affect her ability to think clearly, then you can bring an action to have the new will set aside. This may also apply if she was medicated at the time of altering her will.
If you have been left out of a Will or received an unfair share of the Estate in the Will you may contest, challenge or dispute the Will. Whilst the law recognises a person’s right to leave their estate to who they wish, there are circumstances in which a person could and should contest a Will.
Challenging a Will
A Will can be challenged for a variety of reasons. You might doubt the validity of the Will, you might think that the testator (the person who made the Will) was unduly influenced to make a Will a certain way or you might feel as though you have not been adequately provided for in the Will). If you have any of these concerns you should investigate the possibility of contesting the Will.
Contesting a Will is not always straight forward. No matter your concern, you should consult a law firm that specialises in this area. Find a Lawyer