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What does it mean to be of sound mind?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Estate Planning

A will is an excellent testamentary tool that can be included in a Kentucky resident’s comprehensive estate plan. There are many requirements that a will must satisfy in order to be considered valid though. One of those requirements is that the will’s creator must be of sound mind when drafting and executing their will.

Being of sound mind refers generally to the ability of a person to understand what their will says and what will be accomplished through their will when they die. Without soundness of mind, a person’s will may be claimed to not represent their true intentions and may be subject to challenges after the creator’s death. Ensuring soundness of mind at the time of will execution can help smooth out problems later on during probate.

Complicating factors for establishing a sound mind

One of the most common factors that can complicate claims of a sound mind is illness. Diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and others can rob individuals of their abilities to think clearly and understand fully. A claim of a cognitive disease may threaten a claim of a sound mind.

Similarly, some medications may alter the perceptions and understanding of individuals who take them. Both legal pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs can affect mental processes and impact the capacity of a person to understand their will.

Addressing soundness of mind proactively

If a person does not have a sound mind when they create their will, their will may not stand up to legal scrutiny after their death and when it should be operating to inform beneficiaries of what property they will receive. To this end, it is important that individuals who have soundness of mind concerns proactively work to protect their wills from such challenges. The support and guidance of trusted estate planning lawyers may provide them with the information they need to confidently draft and execute their legally compliant wills.