California Lawyers Advise on the Legal Capacity of Will and Trust Makers
PALM DESERT ATTORNEYS WORK TO DETERMINE WHETHER DOCUMENTS ARE ENFORCEABLE
Longer life spans and complicated financial issues mean that many people make significant changes to their wills and trusts during their senior years. When an unexpected decision is made, however, some may question whether the testator or trust creator possessed the proper legal capacity to issue that instruction. Bochnewich Law Offices in Palm Desert represents Southern California clients in various types of claims pertaining to the validity of wills and trusts. These determinations can be very complex; even the diagnosis of a mental disorder might not be enough to prevent enforcement of the instrument in question. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of a qualified lawyer who has dealt with such matters. Attorney Peter M. Bochnewich has more than 20 years of legal experience in this area and provides exceptional counsel to parties on both sides of these issues.
COACHELLA VALLEY FIRM HANDLES DISPUTES OVER TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY
People sometimes refer to “diminished capacity” when assessing these matters, but that doesn’t accurately describe the California standard. Just because someone might not be as mentally sharp as they used to be does not mean that a document they executed will not be enforced. Starting with a free initial consultation, we’ll make a thorough review of relevant statutory factors, including:
- Alertness and thought processes — If a person has difficulty paying attention or is unaware of their surroundings, it can be evidence that they lacked sufficient capacity to make valid choices.
- Ability to understand one’s actions — Courts can evaluate the ability of someone to understand and appreciate the consequences of his or her actions. Evidence of memory loss, inability to communicate, failure to reason and unfamiliarity with common objects might be introduced.
- Periods of impairment — Hallucinations, delusions or other instances of severely disorganized thinking might be crucial to building a case for incapacity, if a connection can be made to the time frame when the subject action occurred. A court may take into consideration the frequency, severity and duration of periods of impairment.
Capacity challenges can be lodged in connection with wills, trusts, contracts, marriages and other key legal decisions. After discussing the relevant circumstances with us, you’ll have the information you need to make a decision on how to proceed. From there, we can develop the strongest possible argument on your behalf.
Contact an experienced California wills and trusts attorney for a free consultation
Bochnewich Law Offices represents Southern Californians in actions relating to capacity questions and other trust and estate matters. Please call 760-776-1377 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our office, located in Palm Desert.