Validity of Wills with Dementia - Private Client Solicitors

Validity of Wills with Dementia

Can I write a valid Will if I have been diagnosed with a mental illness such as dementia?

There isn’t a straight forward black and white, yes or no answer and I’m afraid it all depends on if you have “requisite mental capacity” – which to make matters even more unclear is a concept which is time and decision specific!

Whilst we appreciate your world turns upside down with any diagnosis, the outset really is the best time to take advice.  We have helped hundreds of clients who are living with dementia to make Wills.

To make a valid Will as well as correctly complying with the legal formalities, you must understand what a Will does along with who is in your family, what you are worth and how and why you would like your estate to be divided in the way you are choosing now. The instructions must come from you and you should not be influenced or “helped” to answer by anyone else, no matter how genuine their intentions are.

Our STEP qualified solicitors are specialists in taking instructions and making decisions in relation to capacity to enter into legal documents and also work in conjunction with local GPs and specialist providers if it’s felt a medical report should also be obtained. Our solicitors will talk through matters with you simply, calmly and empathetically irrespective of the level of the diagnosis.

There is a misconception from the general public that an attorney (appointed under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney) can sign a new Will on behalf of the person they are assisting – they cannot, even if they are certain they know that persons wishes! If your family member or friend has already been deemed to have lost capacity to enter into testamentary documents then the only option would be to make an application to the Court of Protection to have a “Statutory Will” i.e. a Will approve by the Court put in place. We can deal with these when there is no other option but they can often be costly and time consuming.

It is therefore best to have wills and LPAs put in place or your existing documents reviewed in full as soon as any medical diagnosis is made.

By instructing a STEP qualified lawyer from PCS you can be sure that you will receive personable, honest and sound legal advice tailored to your needs. Email us at or call us on 07854 272 414 to have an initial no obligation chat.