If the testator is suffering from dementia at the time of drawing up the will, this can lead to the invalidity of the will.
Cologne, NRW -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/30/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and London – www.grprainer.com/en conclude: The testamentary capacity of persons with conditions affecting their cognitive abilities is a question recently dealt with by the Superior Court [Oberlandesgericht/OLG] of Munich (File No. 31 Wx 266/12). The case concerned the testamentary capacity of a testatrix suffering from Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease with progressive dementia. She had drawn up several wills. A year before her death, she had made her son her sole heir by signing a notarized will.
After her death, her son applied to be the sole heir, but the probate court turned the application down, ruling that the deceased had been incapable of making a testament. The son appealed to the Superior Court. He argued that his mother had a bright moment when she drew up the will, and that this was also apparent from the comments of the notary who had no doubt about the testatrix’s testamentary capability. However, the court-appointed expert came to a different conclusion and argued that due to her severe illness, the testatrix had not been able to act autonomously and to make free decisions.
The Civil Code [BGB] states that the autonomy of the testator/testatrix is a substantial prerequisite for his/her testamentary capacity. He/she must have unlimited judgment and be clear about the content of the will as well as understanding the repercussions of the testament. That is precisely what the court found lacking in this case, and the appeal was dismissed.
Misfortunes and other unhappy events can happen quickly, often burdening the affected persons with difficulties. It is therefore advisable to seek counsel at an early time about legal provisions in case of death. Lawyers with experience in the laws of inheritance can help in drawing up an effective will. Such lawyers would pay attention to the exact wishes of testators and give advice about the possible consequences of the arrangements made. Not only should the legal formalities be observed, but there are also tax implications that should be taken into consideration. For that, too, a lawyer can find the solution best suited to the testator’s intention.
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GRP Rainer LLP http://www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.
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