Assessing Mental Capacity - Guidance

One of the conditions which must be satisfied for a will to be valid is that the person making it must be of sound mind. With an ageing population, cases involving disputes over a testator’s mental capacity are becoming more common – it is estimated that up to two million people in the UK suffer from some form of dementia or brain injury.

Guidance on the meaning of mental capacity can be found on the Mental Health Foundation website.

The bar for a successful challenge to a will on the gorund of a lack of mental capacity is set high. Cases from 2013 onwards make it clear that recurrent mental illness (schizophrenia) and being 'grief stricken' do not necessarily mean that a testator lacks the mental capacity to make a valid will.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.


Register for
our email

read more

Free Seminars
and Forums -
book your
place today

read more

Subscribe to
our blogs and
get all the news
as it’s added

read more

Who’s in
the news at

read more

Try our new
search facility to
find the lawyer
you need today!

read more

Latest News


Ian Copestake
Partner & Solicitor
01332 378 609
Personal Tax, Trusts, Wills and Probate
Richard Grosberg
Partner & Solicitor
0115 989 5219
Personal Tax, Trusts, Charities Group, Wills and Probate
Jane Sutherland
Partner & Solicitor
0116 214 6676
Personal Tax, Trusts, Wills and Probate


Catherine McCannah
Associate & Solicitor
0115 851 1243
Trusts, Wills and Probate

Trust Manager

Craig Staten-Spencer
Trust Manager
0115 989 5251
Trusts, Personal Injury, Wills and Probate