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wills & probate

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With reference to a will that has been previously written, can it be changed if one of the two parties has suffered trauma to the brain since then? As far as I'm aware, when a will is written, the statement "of sound mind and body" immediately follows the name of the person who is leaving their possessions to someone else.

In this case, if certain characteristics of a person have been altered due to damage to the brain, can they still be "of sound mind and body"?

Also, with reference to the above questions, can the deed to a property also be changed?

Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me.





Competency to amend a will

The law on wills varies somewhat from state to state and you did not give the state involved. However, the law on the issues you present is basically the same in every state, so I will give you the general rules.

Any person competent to make a will can amend their will or write a new one.

An individual 18 or more years of age who is mentally competent may make a will. An individual is not mentally competent to make a will if at the time of making the will either of the following is true:

(1) The individual does not have sufficient mental capacity to be able to (A) understand the nature of the testamentary act, (B) understand and recollect the nature and situation of the individual's property, or (C) remember and understand the individual's relations to living descendants, spouse, and parents, and those whose interests are affected by the will.

(2) The individual suffers from a mental disorder with symptoms including delusions or hallucinations, which delusions or hallucinations result in the individual's devising property in a way which, except for the existence of the delusions or hallucinations, the individual would not have done.

(3) A conservator may make a will on behalf of a conservatee if the conservator has been so authorized by a court order.

As far as your question about changing the title to property, I suggest you post that question on our Real Estate bulletin board.

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