Person XYZ goes to an attorney and hires to the attorney to draw up a will. The attorney produces the will and it is signed.

After several years, the person goes back to the attorney and asks the attorney to change the will. The attorney believes that the XYZ person is no longer legally competent but the attorney is not sure. Should the attorney update the will?

This question is being asked for educational purposes only. I am not looking for legal advice.


1 Answer 1


The attorney would consider RPC 1.14, which means that he "shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client". But if he

reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity...and cannot adequately act in [his] own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.


The testator must know the natural objects of their bounty (i.e., be aware of their spouse and children, if any).

The testator must comprehend the kind and character of their property (i.e., know approximately their net worth and what kind of assets they own).

The testator must understand the nature and effect of the act (i.e., realize that it is indeed a will they are signing and what that means).

The testator must be able to make a disposition of their property according to a plan formed in their mind.

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