Why Mental Illness Diagnosis Is Not Enough to Prove Mental Impairment

When a judge is considering whether an individual was a victim of mental impairment to execute a trust in San Diego, he or she will review the supporting evidence to determine the individual’s mental state during and after the signing of the document. The judge will want to assess the various mental functions of the individual. This includes his or her alertness and attention, information processing, thought processes, and ability to modulate mood and affect. Simply having a diagnosis of a mental or physical disorder is not enough to support your claim, however. You must prove that the trust would not have been created or contain the same terms.

In order to arrive at a conclusion as to whether the mental impairment of an individual was substantial enough to impact the capacity to create a valid trust, the judge may also take into account the following:

  1. First of all, the frequency of the periods of mental impairment
  2. Furthermore, the severity of the mental impairment
  3. Lastly, the duration of the periods of mental impairment

Creating a valid trust requires that the individual had testamentary capacity and legal mental capacity to enter into a contract. These matters are complex, especially since the analysis is usually done after the individual who created the trust has already passed away. To learn more, view our helpful article, “California Will Contest or Trust Contest Based on Mental Incapacity.”

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Trust (noun):

An organization (ie:bank) or someone else can manage the money or property in a trust usually at a set period of time. They are managed by Trustees and are set up to help better serve the beneficiary’s interests. It is a legal document that tells the Trustee how to specifically handle the money and assets on behalf of the beneficiary according to the Trusts wishes.

Related Links:

Mental Health of a California Trustee

What to Do If You Suspect Mental Incapacity

 
Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman

Attorney

The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307
 

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