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High Court of Justice Chancery Division on 29th October 2008, Carr v Beavan: the testamentary capacity

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  1. The issue of the case
  2. The two parties opposed in the case
  3. The case chronologically
  4. How to write a case note

The court has to focus on the testator mental capacity at the time of making his will, since a man diminished in physical and even mental strength may nevertheless make a valid will, provided that he was in possession of his full capacity at the precise time of the writing of the will. In order to determine if Mr Watson lacked testamentary capacity at the time of the November will, both parties named a different expect to assess on that matter. Bearing in mind that none of the experts had seen Mr Watson as a patient during his life time, they concluded that at the time of the November will he was only affected with "mild dementia". The diagnosis of mild or even moderate dementia is not itself an obstacle to satisfy the requirement of testamentary capacity. Therefore, none of the experts could assure that John Watson lacked testamentary capacity the day he made the will.

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