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Challenging a will when a loved one has Alzheimer’s

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Estate & Trust Litigation, Wills |

In an ideal world, everyone in your family would’ve known what your loved one wanted out of their estate plan so that expectations were measured and realized. In reality, though, estate plans are often kept secret and last-minute changes are made, leaving expectant heirs and beneficiaries surprised. When this happens, you need to know if legal action is warranted. This can be a delicate topic, of course, especially when your loved one suffered from a condition like Alzheimer’s disease.

How to challenge an estate plan created by an Alzheimer’s sufferer

First of all, it’s important to note that individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are still capable of creating a sound and legally valid estate plan. This is because they can experience long periods of lucidity when their mental capacity is sufficient to meet legal requirements.

So, this post is not about attacking individuals who suffer from this terrible disease. Instead, it’s about finding a way to protect the outcome that they would’ve wanted if they had been healthy at the time of their estate plan’s creation.

If you’re worried about your loved one’s mental state at the time they created their estate plan, then you might want to look in the following places for evidence to support a trust or will challenge:

  • Witness testimony as to the individual’s lack of memory, delusions, instability, and emotional or regressive behavior.
  • A medical professional’s opinion that your loved one was incapable of understanding the nature of their assets and the ramifications of their estate plan at or near the time of the estate plan’s creation or modification.
  • Your loved one’s medical records, which may give a more detailed and medically recognized description of their behavior and mental state in the time leading up to the estate plan’s creation or modification.

Just remember, all this evidence should be tied to the testamentary act in question, whether that’s the creation of a trust or will, or the medication of an important estate planning document.

Do you need a legal strategy for a will contest?

If so, then you need to understand the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances. It might seem impossible now, but by diligently chipping away at your case, you can craft the compelling legal arguments needed to position yourself as strongly as possible for the fight ahead.


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