bharatbhasha.com
Free Articles  >>  Legal >>  Page 64  >> 

When Does Mental Capacity Prevent Signing Key Estate Documents





?

Signing documents is associated with estate planning. Those documents carry powers and take effect when you no longer can. Wills, healthcare proxies, various powers of attorneys or trust documents are typical examples. But you must be mentally competent to sign these. But what does that mean, and when is it too late?

Let's consider some general principles on mental competence, with the realization that anything can be challenged in court. Weakness of mind and forgetfulness are generally not sufficient to invalidate estate planning documents if it appears your mind - at signing - was capable of attention and exertion when aroused. So, you can be suffering from physical ills and some degree of mental disease yet still execute valid documents.

A firmly embedded principle for validly signing a document is that you must possess the mental competence to reasonably understand the nature and effect of your actions. And, importantly, this competency adheres only at the time you sign the document.

During early dementia you can have bad days where you don't know anyone, but good days where you recognize everyone and think fine. If you sign legal documents on one of your good days, they may be perfectly valid.

*Signing wills:

This requires that you have the mental capacity to know who, what and where. That means you can answer pretty well just who would ordinarily benefit from your estate, such as family and friends. You can also answer What do you own, and what's it worth? Or Where or to Whom do you want to distribute your property?

*Signing financial documents and powers of attorney:

These require the mental capacity to contract. That means you must understand, in a reasonable manner, the nature or effect of your actions when signing.

*Signing healthcare proxies:

Because of the life and death decisions that can arise, requirements are more rigorous when signing healthcare powers of attorney. You must have two independent, unrelated witnesses. Those witnesses shall not sign the durable power of attorney for healthcare unless you not only appear to be of sound mind, but also appear under no duress, fraud or undue influence.

To assure sustaining a later challenge to a competent signing of any document, you should have two or three independent witnesses - i.e. who have no personal stake in your property and would witness the documents only if you appear to be of sound mind. That's because not only does the challenger have the burden of proving you were of unsound mind at the time you signed the document, he must also prove the unsoundness at that time was of such character that you had no reasonable perception of the terms of the documents.

So if you don't want a legal battle over the competency of one who will sign a document, prepare for the signing accordingly.


About Author Shane Flait :

Shane Flait helps you with your financial legal, tax, and retirement goals. Get his FREE report on Managing Your Retirement => <a href="http://www.easyretirementknowhow.com/FreeReportandSignUp.htm" target="_blank">http://www.easyretirementknowhow.com/FreeReportandSignUp.htm</a> Read his ebook: 'Wise Way to Financial Independence' => <a href="http://www.easyretirementknowhow.com/WiseWayGate.htm" target="_blank">http://www.easyretirementknowhow.com/WiseWayGate.htm</a>


Article Source: https://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: https://www.bharatbhasha.com/legal.php/437762


Article Added on Tuesday, June 25, 2013
LD
Other Articles by Shane Flait

Two Ways Beneficiaries Can Contest Your Will After You Die
With your Will, you're telling the state how you wish your assets to be distributed. But after you die, a beneficiary, or someone left out, can still contest your Will on either of two grounds. This article explains these grounds and thereby shows you how you can preserve your wishes against someone contesting your Will. Typically, people leave their children more or less equal shares of their estate. If not, perhaps your children understand and agree with your reason to favor one more than...

Store Estate Planning Documents So They Can Always Be Found
If you've ever misplace an important document, you know how frustrating it is. Well think how hard it is for someone else to find your documents when you can't and when they don't even know if such documents exist. Be sure to store them so they can and will be found. Your estate-planning documents have to be found when you can't help anyone because you're mentally disabled or dead. So what should you do so what needs to be found - can be found. Here's how to get them organized to be found....

Recognize That Wills and Trusts Differ in Their Attributes and Implications
A Will and Trusts can both play a part in many estate plans. Both govern assets and their distribution. Often it's best to use both to achieve what you want. This article alerts you to basics about how they differ. If you're a guardian of someone and need to appoint someone else to take your place at your death, then you may want to do that in a Will since appointing a guardian is usually done in a Will. There may be no legal requirement that a Will be used to name a guardian, but probate...

Why And How To Put Your Home Or Vacation Home In A Trust
The use and disposition of property owned by a trust is determined by the trust's document and trustee. If you own real estate, you may find putting it into a trust is best for you and your beneficiaries. Here's how... -Why use a trust? If you want to control how an asset will be used after your death, putting it in a trust will give you control over it by your provisions you make for it in the trust document and your choice of trustee to succeed you. Additionally, trust property doesn't go...

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust Can Be Useful For Estate Planning Strategies
Life insurance creates money in the form of a death benefit when you die. That death benefit goes tax free to the beneficiary. But a death benefit's purpose can change during your life. At retirement, your wealth may be better served by using life insurance within an irrevocable trust - an ILIT. Here's why... When you die, everything you own or control is subject to the federal estate tax. For large estates, this tax can grab a healthy chunk of what you'd like to pass on to others. The...

2013 Estate Tax Planning Includes Trusts Federal And State Estate Taxes
It's important to review your estate tax planning to incorporate the changing federal and state estate tax laws - their amounts and exemption thresholds. Trusts still have a place for exemption preservation and offspring protections. Here's an update... For 2013, the first $5,250,000 per person, $10,500,000 per couple of your estate is exempt from federal estate tax. These amounts are annually indexed for inflation. Anything above that is taxed at a top estate tax rate of 40%. Both the...

Disclaim Your Spouse s IRA In Favor Of His Or Her Secondary Beneficiary
If your husband has a large IRA and you're well off, consider disclaiming part or all of his IRA at his death. Doing so can leave more for your children. This is an estate tax avoidance strategy to be aware of. All IRAs are subject to estate taxes when you die. That's because you can take money out of them and re-designate beneficiaries at anytime - i.e. you own and control them which puts them in you estate at your death. If you don't assign a beneficiary for your IRA (on the IRA form),...

How To Fund Your Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
The purpose of an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is to keep the death benefit of life insurance on your life out of your estate so as to eliminate the estate taxes that would rob some of those proceeds when you die. It keeps it out of your estate by the trust owning the life insurance policy on your life. If you own the life insurance policy on your life, then the policy's death benefit will be added to your gross estate when you die, and thereby increasing your estate taxes. You...

Keep Your Life Insurance Proceeds For Your Beneficiary and Out Of Your Estate
When you purchased your life insurance, you had a beneficiary in mind and hopefully designated him on the policy. If, however, you were undecided at that time, then you - or more specifically your estate - became the beneficiary. Don't forget to update your policy by deciding and designating your beneficiary or you'll undermine a lot of the benefits that a life insurance payout can give your intended beneficiary. When you update your beneficiary, you can name more than one and give each...

Designating Beneficiaries Of Life Insurance Owned By A Trust
If you own life insurance on your life, when you die the value of your life insurance proceeds will be part of your estate. Even though your life insurance beneficiaries will receive their proceeds income tax free, what they receive may be reduce by your estate tax obligations. Letting a trust own the life insurance on your life, removes its proceeds from your estate tax obligations, but how best to designate the beneficiary(s) of the trust-owned life insurance? First of all, for the life...

Click here to see More Articles by Shane Flait
Publishers / Webmasters
Article ID: 437762
DELINK URL from Authors Bio
REMOVE Article
Tell A Friend
Leave A Comment!
Download this article in PDF
Report Article!
Search through all the articles:


116 Users Online !
Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
 
Legal >> Top 50 Articles on Legal
Category - >
Advertising Advice Affiliate Programs Automobiles
Be Your Own Mentor Careers Communication Consumers
CopyWriting Crime Domain Names DoT com Entrepreneur Corner
Ebooks Ecommerce Education Email
Entertainment Environment Family Finance And Business
Food & Drink Gardening Health & Fitness Hobbies
Home Business Home Improvement Humour House Holds
Internet And Computers Kiddos and Teens Legal Matters Mail Order
Management Marketing Marriage MetaPhysical
Motivational MultiMedia Multi Level Marketing NewsLetters
Pets Psychology Religion Parenting
Politics Sales Science Search Engine Optimization
Site Promotion Sports Technology Travel
Web Development Web Hosting WeightLoss Women's Corner
Writing Miscellaneous Articles Real Estate Arts And Crafts
Aging


Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the views of bharatbhasha.com and/or its owners.


Copyright AwareINDIA. All rights reserved || Privacy Policy || Terms Of Use || Author Guidelines || Free Articles
FAQs Link To Us || Submit An Article || Free Downloads|| Contact Us || Site Map  || Advertise with Us ||
Click here for Special webhosting packages for visitors of this website only!
Vastu Shastra

Economy Linux Hosting with cPanel Provided By AwareIndia







Company IDS