Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Can someone who has parkinson's sign a will. And if so, can they disinherit someone (i.e. their son)? They can talk (hard to understand), walk, and understand what they want to do (with the will). Can they sign the doc and disinherit a family member?

Asked on 7/16/14, 11:49 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Haber Law Offices of Michael S. Haber

So long as a person has "testamentary capacity," he or she can sign a will. You say the person in question has difficulty speaking, or at least being readily understood. That is not an issue. Testamentary capacity refers to the ability to know and understand the nature and extent of one's bounty -- that is, the person is familiar with the extent of his or her assets and appears to have an appropriate understanding of what one wishes to happen to one's assets. When a person is suffering from a disease that impairs various functions, it is usually wise to take certain extra (and special) precautions in the drafting and execution of the will. This is all the more true where the person wishes to disinherit a family member who would otherwise either be (1) a person whom one would naturally assume the testator wishes to benefit and/or (2) a person who is a distributee (one who would share in the estate if there were no will). Since the testator wishes to leave out his or her son, you can pretty much expect a good possibility of a probate challenge later on and the testator will be well advised to consult with an attorney and make sure that the will is as "bulletproof" as possible. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished.

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Answered on 7/16/14, 12:34 pm
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Yes, if done properly.

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Answered on 7/16/14, 1:32 pm

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