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When can your testamentary capacity to sign a will be questioned?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Estate Planning

When you have worked hard your entire life and accumulated a considerable amount of wealth, you want to be certain that your hard-earned assets will pass down to the people and causes you care about when you die. This is the essence of creating a will. With a properly executed will in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your estate will be distributed just as you want it to be.

But as a will is a legal document, it must meet certain requirements in order to be considered valid. In other words, your will must be drafted per Ohio’s will-related laws. Simply put, you must be at least 18 at the time of signing the will. Also, your will must be witnessed by at least two non-interested parties. Most importantly, you must have the testamentary capacity to sign the will. A will that does not satisfy these requirements may be challenged and invalidated.

What is testamentary capacity and when can it be questioned?

At its most basic, testamentary capacity refers to your mental ability to sign a will. In other words, you need to be able to understand the essence of creating a will, the implications of doing so, as well as the ins and outs of your property, etc.

Your testamentary capacity to execute a will can generally be questioned under the following circumstances:

  • If you could not comprehend the nature and extent of the assets you included in your will
  • If you were suffering from advanced stages of a degenerating condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease at the time of signing your will
  • If you signed your will too close to your death after a long illness

Your testamentary capacity to sign a will has everything to do with your situational awareness when executing. Understanding Ohio’s wills laws can help you execute a document that will withstand the test of probate. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.