Testamentary Capacity

News & Analysis as of

Recent Changes in Testamentary Capacity Rules

Estate planners and litigators face new challenges in light of recent developments in case law and statutory changes affecting the law of testamentary capacity. Gone are the simple rules that estate planners have used for...more

Potemkin Village Deferred—Planned Exhibition of Gurlitt Trove is Postponed

Germany has apparently decided to postpone its ill-conceived plans to exhibit the hundreds of works of art that it still holds from the trove seized from the late Cornelius Gurlitt. This decision was announced as a date was...more

When is a Will Not a Will? Court Determines that “Will” Was Not a Valid Will or a Valid Gift Deed and that Decedent Later Lacked...

In Lemus v. Aguilar, relatives fought over ownership of a decedent’s home. No. 04-14-00609-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 2685 (Tex. App.—San Antonio Mar. 16, 2016, no pet. h.). ...more

Use Checklists to Avoid a Will Dispute

One of the easiest steps that an estate planning attorney can take to try to prevent a will that he drafted from being challenged is to have the witnesses to the will utilize a checklist in order to create a documented record...more

Ruling Highlights the Need for Testamentary Intent for Holographic Codicil

Last month, the Fairfax, Virginia Circuit Court issued a written opinion that, while it does not break new law in Virginia, illustrates how a writing must demonstrate “testamentary intent” to qualify as a valid holographic...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - January 2015

As 2014 came to a close, Massachusetts state and federal courts issued decisions concerning a number of issues of interest to estate planning attorneys and probate litigation attorneys, including testamentary capacity,...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Will's Language Can Suggest Lack of Capacity, and Adopts Cause of Action for Equitable Adoption

A testator has held a younger man out for nearly sixty years as being his son. When the testator drafts a will stating that he has no children, is that statement a sufficient basis to plead a will challenge based on lack of...more

Illinois Supreme Court Will File Two New Civil Opinions on Thursday Morning

This afternoon, the Illinois Supreme Court announced that it will file two opinions in civil cases on 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. The upcoming opinions are...more

Argument Report: Can Lack of Testamentary Capacity Be Proven From the Will Alone?

A relatively quiet Illinois Supreme Court gave little indication of its leanings last week during oral argument in DeHart v. DeHart....more

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