Where a relative or friend is suffering from dementia and is no longer considered capable of making their wishes known, legally they do not have the capacity to make their own Will.
However with an increasing number of such cases, the Courts do consider applications for a Statutory Will to be prepared for a person who does not have the requisite capacity.
Although these sorts of cases are still quite rare, with demographic changes and people living to an older age, there are increasing numbers of people suffering from dementia who have made no arrangements for the management of their estates on their death.
Whilst it may seem “morally wrong” or “unethical” to have a Will prepared for someone who cannot make their own decisions, the Courts are now looking more favourably on Statutory Will applications as they can help avoid unnecessary complications and expense later on. The Court will look at evidence provided by interested parties before making the Order concerning the Statutory Will.
The percentage of people making a Will in England & Wales remains low – around one in six. With people living longer and more prone to dementia-related illnesses, experts are predicting a rise in the number of Statutory Wills.
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Wills and Estate Planning Partner
Wills and Estate Planning Solicitor