Capacity to Make a Will or Trust

An elderly person wants to make a Will or Trust, but there is a question about his capacity. Maybe he was recently diagnosed with dementia, suffered a stroke or is on significant medications. Under Ohio law, in order to have testamentary capacity, that is the capacity to sign a Will or Trust, you must meet a specific standard.

The person making or modifying the will or trust must have sufficient mind and memory to:

1. Understand the nature of the business in which he in engaged;
2. Comprehend generally the nature and extent of his property;
3. Hold in his mind the names and identities of those who have a natural claim upon his property;
4. Be able to appreciate his relation to the members of his family.

A person need only meet this standard at the time that he executes the will or trust. Capacity is not a fixed determination. It can vary from day to day or even hour to hour. For more information, contact a Cleveland estate planning lawyer.