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Mental Health Awareness Week

During the week of 8th to 14th May 2017, mental health charities mark Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme has a positive message of “Thriving and Surviving.”

Issues relating to mental ill-health are being talked about more frequently, especially since the young Royals became involved in the Heads Together campaign.

In the context of contentious probate disputes, it is important to be aware of the following issues relating to mental ill-health:

  • A person’s capacity to make a Will could be affected by a variety of conditions including schizophrenia, dementia (including Alzheimer’s type dementia), depression, brain injury and post-traumatic stress.
  • Even if a person suffered from mental ill-health during their lifetime, it is not a foregone conclusion that they did not have capacity to make a Will.
  • The medical effects of mental ill-health are extremely complex and expert evidence is sometimes required to determine whether mental ill-health affected a person’s capacity, as well as evidence from the person’s friends and family.
  • People suffering from mental ill-health such as dementia and depression can still thrive and survive with the appropriate support.

If you need advice about whether a Will might be valid due to a potential lack of capacity please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Stephanie Kerr, Disputes & Litigation Solicitor