Deceased estate and probate law

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Deceased Estates Blog

Western Australian Law as at date of publication


Requirements of testamentary capacity – a working definition


It is common in Western Australia when dealing with the issue of testamentary capacity for the Supreme Court of WA to refer to the following requirements set out in the decision Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR5 QB 549, 565:

“That the testator shall understand the nature of the act and its effects, shall understand the extent of the property of which he is dispoising; shall be able to comprehend and appreciate the claims to which he ought to give effect; and, with a view to the latter object, that no disorder of the mind shall poison his affections, pervert his sense of right, or prevent the exercise of its natural faculties – that no insane delusion shall influence his will in disposing of his property and bring about a disposal of it which, if the mind had been sound, would not have been made ….”



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