Witnesses Who Can Help You To Contest A Will Based On Diminished Mental Capacity

Contesting a will may be an immediate priority for you when a parent has surprised you by leaving his or her estate to someone other than you. While it's customary for parents to leave their estates to their children, they don't always — and this can be a rude awakening for the child. One way that you can contest a will is by arguing that your parent had a diminished mental capacity. In other words, your parent was unable to make a proper decision about his or her estate. To make this argument, a number of witnesses can help your case.


You and your attorney may seek to interview your parent's caregiver, if applicable, to help discern whether your parent may have had a diminished mental capacity. Your caregiver is someone who not only is a trained healthcare professional, but may also have interacted with your parent daily — perhaps for a span of several months. He or she can likely make a determination on your parent's mental status, which may be instrumental in your ability to successfully contest the will.


Neighbors of your parent may also be worthwhile to confer with when you're looking for people to establish whether your parent may have been suffering from a diminished mental capacity prior to drafting his or her will. Neighbors, of course, don't have health and medical backgrounds, but they may be able to share anecdotes that call into question your parent's mental state. For example, one neighbor might have a story about your parent acting strangely in the yard and perhaps he or she conferred with your parent to see if he or she was all right. The parent may have responded in an unusual or inappropriate way, which could suggest a lack of mental capacity that may work in your favor.

Community Contacts

It is also a good idea to speak to people who knew your parent in the local community. This could be his or her barber or hairdresser, a member of a service club to which your parent once belonged, or anyone else who had regular contact with him or her. These individuals may be able to speak to seeing a decline in your parent's mental state, and they may be able to provide anecdotes that support these claims. All of these people can be pivotal in helping you and your attorney contest the will on the grounds of your parent's diminished mental capacity.

For more information, contact a law firm like Abom & Kutulakis LLP.