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Disputes Over Capacity

Navigating Capacity Disputes in Trust and Estate Litigation

Understanding Capacity Disputes

What is Capacity?

Capacity in the context of trust and estate matters refers to an individual’s mental ability to understand the nature and consequences of their decisions. Capacity is crucial when executing important documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

Common Capacity Challenges:

Disputes over capacity often arise in the following situations:

Execution of Testamentary Documents:

Challenges to the validity of wills or trusts based on allegations of insufficient mental capacity at the time of execution. Probate Code Sections 810-812 address capacity in estate planning matters.

Power of Attorney Issues:

Disputes over the validity of powers of attorney, particularly when questions arise about the grantor's mental capacity when granting such powers.

Undue Influence Claims:

Capacity disputes may be intertwined with claims of undue influence, where one party alleges that the decedent lacked the mental capacity to resist manipulation. Welfare and Institutions Code §15610.70 defines undue influence and identifies the elements which will be used to determine if undue influence was exerted.

Enforceability in California

Legal Standard for Capacity:

California law sets forth the legal standard for capacity, requiring individuals to have sufficient mental capacity to understand the nature of their actions when executing testamentary documents.

Challenges and Defenses:

Estate Law California APC’s counsel is well-versed in navigating capacity challenges and defenses. Whether you are contesting a document or defending against allegations, Estate Law California PC can provide strategic legal representation.

Expert Testimony:

Capacity disputes often involve expert testimony from medical professionals or other experts. Estate Law California APC works with qualified experts to build a strong case on your behalf.

How Estate Law California APC Can Help

At Estate Law California PC, our seasoned trust and estate litigation counsel specializes in handling disputes over capacity. Estate Law California APC’s services include:

Capacity Evaluations:

Assessing the validity of testamentary documents based on the alleged lack of mental capacity.

Undue Influence Claims:

Addressing disputes involving claims of undue influence and lack of capacity.

Litigation Representation:

Providing strong legal representation in court, advocating for our clients' rights and interests.

If you are facing disputes over capacity or have concerns about the validity of trust or estate documents, contact Estate Law California APC for a free telephone consultation.
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