Father was diagnosed with terminal brain and gastrointestinal cancer

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Father was diagnosed with terminal brain and gastrointestinal cancer

Father was diagnosed 11
months prior to his passing
and changed his will 8
months prior to death can
you legally challenge the
new will due to not being
of sound mind

Asked on July 20, 2018 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You'd have to be able to prove by medical evidence (e.g. the testimony of physicians who were examining and treating him) that *at the time* he changed the will, he was in fact mentally incompetent--i.e. did not understand what he was doing. Brain cancer does NOT automatically result in or cause incomptence--some people with brain cancer are competent right until the end; and even if your father did become mentally incompetent at some point, if he was competent when the change was made, the will is valid. So if there is medical evidence of incompetence when the change was made, you may have grounds to contest, but without such evidence, you would not have a viable case.


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