Capacity Issues in Estate Planning

By Jacqueline L. Messler.

As the average age of Americans continues to rise, more cases of dementia are diagnosed, and the need for assistance for the elderly rises, estate planners are often faced with issues of capacity.  One child may be closest to mom or dad, and end up taking on the majority of the responsibility for a parent’s care.

What happens if mom suddenly wants to change her will to give a majority or all of her assets to caretaker child, resulting in the disinheritance of the rest of mom’s children?  Let’s say that disinherited siblings object to mom’s new will.  What will they have to prove?  A recent case from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals clarified the law on how someone challenging a will can prove that the will was the result of undue influence. Continue reading


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