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Jeffrey v Jeffrey

Heather Viljoen sums up a case about wills and capacity

4 October 2013

A disinherited son attempted to overturn his mother's will principally by arguing that a vulnerable mental state and an addiction to prescription drugs deprived her of testamentary capacity.

The relationship between the two wasn't good having deteriorated after the family business was handed over to son Andrew in 2000 and him accusing his mother of stealing money from it a year later.

In 2004, the deceased made a will all but disinheriting her son. And things got worse in 2006 when Andrew was charged with, though later acquitted of, 34 counts of fraud relating to the business.

Three years before she died, in 2007, the mother wrote a new will excluding Andrew entirely. Her other son, Nicholas, was named main beneficiary and appointed an executor.

For several years before her death, the deceased had suffered from anxiety and was prescribed sedatives, something Andrew relied on to establish a lack of testamentary capacity. He fur...

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