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What does testamentary capacity mean in a probate proceeding?

It has been said that “[t]he law jealously guards the right of a person to dispose of his property by Will, whatever his condition of health maybe, but there comes a time when the ordinary death-bed will prepare when the testator is sinking slowly but surely to his end, must be submitted to scrutiny to determine whether it indeed meets the tests of testamentary capacity.” See In re Delmar's Will, 243 NY 7, 10-11 (1926).

To prove the testamentary capacity of the Decedent, the petitioner must demonstrate that Decedent “understood the consequences of executing the Will, knew the nature and extent of the property being disposed of and knew the persons who were the natural objects of his bounty and his relationship to them.” See Matter of Prevratil, 121 AD3d 137, 140 (2014). Testamentary capacity concerns a person's mental condition only at the time of the execution of the Will.

The testator need only have a general knowledge of his assets. The testator does not need to have a precise knowledge of all his assets. See Matter of Walker, 80 AD3d 865 (3d Dept 2011).

Bronx, New York probate lawyer Bryan J Hutchinson is knowledgeable in helping the residents of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan in all phases of a New York probate and administration proceeding.

If you need help filing for probate or objecting to the probate of a Will, then call experienced Bronx probate lawyer Bryan J. Hutchinson (718) 671-0900 to guide you through the process and protect your rights to the assets you deserve.

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At the Law Office Bryan Hutchinson, PLLC, we focus on personal injury, divorce, and probate and estate administration. We are dedicated advocates, committed to protecting your rights with vigor and understanding. Our approach combines zealous advocacy with a deep concern for your unique situation, ensuring that your case is handled with both determination and care."

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The Law Office Bryan Hutchinson, PLLC is committed to answering your questions about personal injury, divorce, and probate and estate administration issues in New York. We offer free personal injury consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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