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Western Australian Law as at date of publication

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Requirements of testamentary capacity – a working definition

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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 ….”

3-5-13

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