Saturday, May 4, 2013
Testamentary capacity and alcoholism
Posted by Lynne Butler
In other cases, it's not so clear as to whether a person is of sound mind. It's an important question because it makes the difference between a will being valid or not, which could affect thousands (or more) of dollars worth of assets. What if the person who made the will was an alcoholic? And what if that alcoholic person made a new will which went against promises he or she had made during life?
This is a really tricky area of law for lawyers and judges, and believe me, we don't take it lightly. We really want to get it right. I recently read an article by Justin de Vries, who blogs at www.allaboutestates.ca, in which Mr. de Vries discussed the case of Helen Oshchypok (Lata v. Rush), who was an alcoholic. Click here to read his article. Click here if you want to read the whole case directly from the court.
The bottom line in this case is that a person with chronic alcoholism can make a valid will, but it's very much on a case-by-case basis.