The capacity to revoke a will was considered in the case of Re Sabatini (1969) 114 SJ 35, which established that a person who intends to revoke his or her will must have the same degree of understanding as when he or she made the will.
The person must therefore be capable of:
- understanding the nature of the act of revoking a will;
- understanding the effect of revoking the will (this might even involve a greater understanding of the operation of the intestacy rules than is necessary for the purpose of making a will, although there is no direct authority on the point and it would be extremely difficult to prove this retrospectively);
- understanding the extent of his or her property;
- comprehending and appreciating the claims to which he or she ought to give effect.
Please see the Law Society’s Elderly Client Handbook (5th edition) which is available to purchase from the Law Society’s online bookshop.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.
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