Tag Archives: mental disability

Is Confusion or Inebriation Grounds for Invalidating a will?

Is Confusion or Inebriation Grounds for Invalidating a will?

A recent case demonstrated that challenging a will that may have been made under undue influence can be very difficult to prove, even where confusion and even inebriation may have affected the person making the will.

A Granddaughter challenged her Grand Mothers will alleging that it was made whilst under the ‘undue influence’ of her Grand Mothers neighbour in order that he would benefit from the will.

The neighbour had been present when the solicitor visited the woman to take her instructions for the will and she referred to him for guidance. She also showed a significant degree of forgetfulness and confusion, to the extent that the solicitor wished to obtain a doctor’s opinion on her mental capacity to make a will.The woman later contacted the solicitor, saying that she did not want to see a doctor and no longer wished to go ahead with making the will. Her neighbour later telephoned the firm to confirm this. It was the view of the solicitor that the neighbour was involved in that decision.

She then found a new solicitor, who prepared a will for her that passed her entire estate to her neighbour.

When the will was challenged in court, evidence was produced that the woman had been taking a cocktail of drugs and also drank heavily. She was normally inebriated by mid-morning and also suffered from confusion.

Despite these circumstances, surprisingly, the judge ruled that there was ‘no arguable case’ that the neighbour had exercised undue influence over the woman and rejected the challenge to the will.

The case shows how high the hurdle is that has to be overcome in order to demonstrate that a will has been procured by undue influence.

Newnham & Jordan Solicitors are regulated, professional wills and probate solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole and the local area. For help with making a Will or amending an existing one we offer home appointments and a cost effective service. Contact us on 0845 680 7871 or via the online form

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

People advised to ‘Establish Lasting Power of Attorney’

Solicitors Wimborne Power of Attorney | Newnham & JordanIn a recent Daily Telegraph interview with Oliver Thomas Director of BUPA’s UK care homes, he highlighted the importance of ensuring that people have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. This is to ensure that your finances and general welfare will be handled by someone you can trust, should a time come when you are unable to make such decisions yourself. He noted that these arrangements are vital to avoid distress and complications for family members in the event of dementia or other conditions that prevent someone dealing with their money.

Mr Thomas explained that illness “can creep up very suddenly”, potentially leading to distress for relatives if plans are not in place. He told the newspaper that conditions such as dementia can leave people unable to make simple financial decisions, sign cheques or remember PIN numbers.
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So, who is the Court of Protection working for?

So, who is the Court of Protection working for?

This is an interesting question and many would argue that the Court, despite it’s claims, does not work for the benefit and protection of the most vulnerable in our society who are suffering a mental disability, often coupled with a physical disability and are therefore unable to take care of their own affairs.

However, until a change in the law can be obtained we have to work within the system.  In order to ensure that in the event of you suffering an accident or illness, which leaves you mentally unable to handle your affairs, you should consider putting in hand, at an early stage, a Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA  (what is a lasting Power of Attorney?).  If the unfortunate did then happen, at least the Attorney of your choice is appointed and the Court will then allow that Attorney to make decisions on your behalf rather than take over that role for you.

If you require assistance in the setting up of a Lasting Power of Attorney or, you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance that a beloved relative has become incapable of handling their own affairs without having first prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney, who would be happy to have an informal chat over the phone or in person.  So why not contact us now for “Coffee & Chat” to discover how we can assist?

For an interesting article by John Hemming MP see the link below

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8303896/John-Hemming-MP-Court-of-Protection-must-be-reformed.html

This article is intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.