You are here

A review of testamentary capacity

Howard Smith considers how the concept of testamentary capacity has evolved over time, including the impact of the Mental Capacity Act and the importance of the 'golden rule'

19 April 2016

The familiar common law test for testamentary capacity set out in Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 requires the following:

  • The testator must be capable of understanding the nature and effect of their will;

  • The testator must be capable of understanding the nature and extent of the property of which they are disposing;

  • The testator must be capable of comprehending and appreciating the claims
    to which they ought to give effect; and

  • For that reason, the testator must not be suffering from a disorder of the mind which poisons their affections, perverts their sense of right, or prevents the exercise of their natural faculties - so that 'no insane delusion' brings about a disposition which would not have been made if the testator had been of
    ...

Want to read on?

This article is part of our subscription-based access. Please pick one of the options below to continue.

Already registered? Login to access premium content

SUBSCRIBE for one User

Unlimited access to the entire SJ website for a full year for one user.

  • 10 issues a year delivered to you
  • Digital edition of the magazine for one user – sent to your inbox or accessible through the website
  • Access to premium content on the website
  • Access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online
  • Advanced search feature
  • Online support
  • Access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices – coming soon!
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

Subscribe

CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTION

Your department or entire firm can subscribe to Solicitors Journal online, providing easy access for all who require it. Discount corporate subscription rates apply, based on number of users.

The Corporate IP Licence includes:

  • Digital copy of the magazine sent to individuals’ inboxes and accessible through the website. Solicitors Journal publishes 10 issues per year
  • Unlimited access to premium content on the website based on IP addresses
  • Unlimited access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online (username required)
  • Unlimited access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

The Corporate IP Licence is tailored to your firm, making it the most cost effective way for the firm to access Solicitors Journal, and enables the firm to remain compliant with copyright and our Terms and Conditions. This gives you the ability to print and circulate articles within the firm.

To enquire about a Corporate IP Licence for your firm, please contact our Subscriptions Manager on emily.beechey@solicitorsjournal.com.