How to Help a Loved One With Mental Illness Create an Estate Plan

This is not your estate to create. However, you are worried about your loved one. You want to make sure that his wishes are honored after his death and you worry that his mental illness may be used to challenge the validity of his will, trust, or other estate planning documents after he is gone.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Before you make any decisions about how to help your loved one, it is important to understand that:

  • Mental illness does not prevent a person from creating an estate plan. A person with mental illness can be competent. Generally, you will want to consider whether your loved one understands the decisions that he is making. He will need to understand that he is making a will, what his assets are, and how it affects his named beneficiaries and loved ones.
  • If there is a dispute about your loved one’s mental capacity after his death then he will be presumed competent. The burden will be on those challenging the will or estate to show that your loved one was incompetent when he created his will.

You Should Encourage Your Loved One to Get Help

An attorney can talk to your loved one and determine whether or not he is competent enough to create an estate plan. This can help avoid problems after his death. For more information about creating an estate, please read our FREE brochure, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust , and please start live chat with us today.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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