Testamentary Capacity

In Texas, a person cannot dispose of their property through a will unless they are of "sound mind" at the time they execute the will.  "Sound mind" is often referred to as "testamentary capacity" in the context of a will. How is testamentary capacity defined? In Texas, it generally means sufficient mental ability, at the time of the will execution, to: a) understand the business in which the testator is engaged; b) the effect of the act in making a will; c) the general nature and extent of her property; d) know who is her next of kin; e) sufficient memory to assimilate elements of a transaction and the ability to hold that memory; and f) to form a reasonable judgment as to those elements Those elements can be found, in various forms and wording, in various published cases dealing with the issue of testamentary capacity. The above elements are certainly not precise and are difficult to apply to every circumstance.  But the goal is to ensure that the testator really knew what they were doing when they executed a will.  Generally mental capacity declines with age. It is no secret that wills are often executed late in life, sometimes very late in life. An allegation that a testator lacked capacity is the foundation of many will contests in Texas.Dallas Fort Worth and North Texas Will Contest Attorneys