I have been diagnosed with dementia. Can I update my Will?
Taking steps early on to ensure that your legal affairs are in order will make matters easier for both you and your loved ones. You should ensure that your current Will is up to date and your wishes are accurately reflected.
The ability to update your Will has not been taken away from you by virtue of you receiving your diagnosis. In order to ensure the validity of a Will, you must have sufficient testamentary capacity. Testamentary capacity is a legal term which means there are specific things that you must be able to understand. These requirements have remained the same for many years (they were originally set out in the case of Banks v Goodfellow (1870).
You must be able to understand:
- What making a will means and the effect that it will have;
- What you own and how this might change;
- Who might expect to be named in your will, and why you are choosing to either leave or not leave things to them.
We may recommend that you discuss your intended changes with a medical professional, and we may also ask that they act as a witness to the Will itself. This will assist in protecting your Will against any claims on the ground that you did not have sufficient mental capacity at the time of signing.
Reviewing your Will is just one of a few steps that you can take to ensure that both you and your loved ones adjust to living with dementia. We previously published an article on practical steps to take if you have been diagnosed with dementia. You can take a look at the same here.