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Gerontologie. 1981 May;12(2):81-90.

[Psychiatric considerations concerning the competency for making a will].

[Article in Dutch]


Incompetency in terms of one legal function does not necessarily mean incompetency in terms of all. Once a person has been found 'mentally ill' or 'insane', he is not to be considered as incompetent for all legal purposes, including his competency to make a will. Testamentary capacity may be consistent with mental disorder and should be determined on narrow standards applicable to this specific legal function. As yet the standards that have been formulated by most courts emphasize almost exclusively cognitive capacity. As a psychiatrist, the author strongly feels that testamentary capacity must meet 'affective' criteria as well. Under all circumstances one should bear in mind both cognitive and affective criteria, when assessing one's competency at the moment he prepares his will, or when testifying in court concerning the testamentary capacity of a testator, now deceased, at the time he made the provision.

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