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Avoiding estate disputes

Rigorous documentation around assessments of capacity should become the norm, especially considering the concerning rise in dementia figures, says Sir Robert Francis QC

24 July 2017

It has recently been reported that an estimated 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. With an ever-increasing life expectancy, this figure is expected to rise to over one million in the UK by 2025 and keep going. On a global scale, by 2050 it is predicted that over 150 million people will have dementia. It can affect the middle-aged as well as the more elderly. There were over 24,000 people aged between 60 and 69 reported as having the condition in England this year.

So what does dementia mean for the legal community, and in particular those advising on wills, probate, and trust affairs?

One of the more promising routes for family members who have been disinherited and wish to challenge a will is to argue that their relative was not in their right mind at the time of writing the will.

It is rare to go more than a few weeks ...

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