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Can My Elder Parent Have a Will Drafted if He/she Has Mental Health Issues?

July 5, 2021

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it is assumed that adults have the mental capacity to make rational decisions such as a having their will drafted. There are times however, where an adult may be unable to draft a will because his/her mental capacity makes them unable to comprehend what they are executing in the will.

Does Diminished Mental Capacity Prevent an Individual from Being Able to Ever Have a Will Drafted?

Not necessarily. As people age and their mental faculties naturally decline, there may be instances where they may lack the capacity to draft a will but those instances may subside which would then allow the person to have the capacity to drat a will. When a person gets older, their particular mental health status may cause them to be more lucid depending on:

  • The day of the week

  • The time of day

  • Their stress levels

  • Change in medication

  • Improvement in their mental health

What are the Mental Requirements for a Person Wanting to Draft a Will?

Generally, in order to draft a will, the person must:

  • understand in a general away, the nature of his/her property,

  • knows who the persons who be his/her heirs, and

  • must be able to comprehend that he or she is making a will.

How Can it Be Ensured that the Will is Enforceable?

Determination of mental capacity is key to making sure a will is enforceable. The determination of whether a client has the mental capacity to draft a will must be made by the attorney and the witnesses based on

  • conversations with the client and his/her from family,

  • information supplied by social workers and/or medical professionals

  • If necessary, a mental health evaluation from the individual’s primary care physician

Who Can I Contact if I Have More Questions?

At The Town Law, we understand just how important it is to make sure that you, or your loved one's, wishes are carried out after their passing. With our vast experience of handling drafting wills in Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with attentive attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.