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Determining Capacity

    In yesterdays' blog we determined situations where capacity can be an issue for someone looking to draft a will. In fact, for that reason, California has established very specific guidelines for determining whether a testator has capacity.  California Probate Code section 811 applies to testamentary capacity and states that a determination that a person lacks the capacity to execute a will, must be supported by evidence of a deficit in certain categories. 

     For example, a testator may not be judged to have capacity if they are not alert and are not able to process information. California Probate Code section 811 defines alertness which is the level of arousal or consciousness, orientation to time, place, person, situation and ability to attend and concentrate. California Probate Code section 811 defines information processing as short and long term memory, ability to understand or communicate with others, recognition of familiar objects and persons, ability to understand and appreciate quantities, ability to reason and ability to reason logically.

   If you live in the California area and have questions about wills drafting or capacity you should consult with a Los Angeles estate litigation attorney.