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Challenging the lucid interval

The loss of a parent or another close relative can be an emotional time. If you or another family member is the executor of the will, there may be beneficiaries who dispute their portion of the estate. In other situations, a recent change to an existing will gifting a large part of the estate to a caregiver or charity may result in a challenge to the will's validity. At The Law Office of Matthew C. Yu, we have courtroom experience and often assist clients in trust litigation.

The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry states that a lucid interval can undermine challenges by heirs of undue influence, as it indicates testamentary capacity. Calculating individuals may influence the elderly and those with dementia or weakened intellects to swindle legitimate heirs out of their rightful portions of the estate. Those who defend the current will, citing a lucid interval, must show that the deceased understood the ramifications of his or her actions at the time of the change.

There is the presumption of competence for most adults when creating their will. However, when the adult is elderly, the assumption is frequently challenged. The suspicion of incompetence, the existence of cognitive impairment and similar issues are commonly the basis for litigation. If attorneys or others with authority were present for the recent changes, deemed the testator in a lucid state, challenges of undue influence or inadequate mental capacity may fail.

The medical community does not recognize lucid interval as a measurement for judging mental or cognitive capacity. With precedents set on each side of the argument, litigation is often complicated and lengthy. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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