Is it legal to ask a stroke patient to change his or her will?

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 11, 2016
Sleeper2296 asked...

Is it legal to ask a stroke patient to change his or her will?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

There’s nothing illegal about asking.

But the request could become shady—and against the law—if the stroke has left the person without the required capacity to change it so that the change does not reflect the willmaker’s true wishes.

The law requires that a person have "testamentary capacity" to make or change a will. And that means that he or she must:

  • understand the nature of the act
  • knows the extent of his or her property
  • understand the will's provisions and recognize who would naturally be expected to receive property under it, and
  • be clear that the will represents his or her wishes.

Whether the stroke patient still has the required legal capacity depends on the person--and the type and extent of the stroke.

Community Answers

Rk smith answered...

If the stroke patient is aware of what he or she is doing and is able to sign papers, it is alright to change a will. But, you should be sure it is legal and done with an attorney. An attorney will know if the stroke patient is in sound mind and knows if he or she is capable of changing the will.