Not in Sound Mind: What Does this Mean for Wills?

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Even when the circumstances surrounding a will are as legally-compliant and straight-forward as possible, it’s still a very distressing and difficult time. Therefore, when the idea of an individual not being of sound mind is taken into account, this can make it significantly more difficult to handle.

It’s consequently important to know what to do in the circumstances of an individual being unable to formulate their own will, and The Inheritance Experts are on hand to guide you every step of the way.

What Does It Mean to Be of a Sound Mind?

To be of a sound mind, a person needs to have full comprehension of their self and their situation. In regards to providing a will, this means that a person needs to fully understand their affairs, loved ones and possessions, and be able to formulate a will with complete understanding of how they are distributing their assets. To be of sound mind, you also need to be able to make rational decisions and judgements.

This is different from being in a state of emotional capacity. Formulating a will is never easy, but being emotional or sensitive regarding the distribution does not mean that you’re incapable of making a logical choice.

What Needs to Be Done if a Person is Not of Sound Mind?

If an individual is not of a sound mind – therefore is incapable of making a rational decision in regards to their possessions, finances and general affairs – then a representative needs to be appointed to make the decision on their behalf. This representative has the power to distribute their assets accordingly and make the decision for them.

The individual elected to take on this responsibility can either be a loved one, such as a family member or friend, or a legal representative. The latter is often preferred, due to the need for neutrality and a more analytical mindset.

Contesting a Will if an Individual is Perceived to Be Not of Sound Mind

It is possible to dispute a will if you are an external party who believes that the individual in question was not of sound mind when they wrote their will. However, it can become very difficult to define being of a rational mind.

Not being of sound mind is different to making a decision which seems unexpected or nonsensical to a loved one or familiar individual. The writer of a will can make a rational and personal decision whilst also being of sound mind, even if that decision isn’t preferable to parties involved. This may be more in relation to an eccentric personality rather than a lack of rationality.

Solid proof would have to be provided in order to attest that a person was not in sound mind when formulating their will. Of course, this then leads to difficulties in handling such a sensitive matter, which is why legal advice is always encouraged.

If you are unsure whether an individual is of sound mind or not, and require legal assistance, then don’t hesitate to contact The Inheritance Experts today.

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