My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007. My mother passed 02/27/08, and my father just passed away in May 2010, My older brother declared himself Power of Attorney immediately after my mother’s death. According to the last will, it was amended in late 2008 after my dad’s Alzheimer’s had already begun to show signs of progression but it bears my father’s signature. Is his Last Will and Testament considered valid?

I am sorry for your loss.

The rules about competency vary from state to state. Even though someone has been diagnosed with a Alzheimer’s, the individual may still have times of clarity when the will can be signed. If the Last Will was prepared by an attorney and signed by witnesses, the attorney and witnesses would be able to discuss the mental ability of your father on the day of signing. Only the probate court can determine whether or not the Last Will is valid.

If you have doubts about the ability of your father to sign his Last Will, these doubts should be raised with the court when the will comes to probate. You will probably need an attorney to raise these issues. However, you haven’t said if the Last Will is being entered into probate.

Remember, just because a Last Will is written, doesn’t mean it is going to be entered into probate. Assets pass to beneficiaries in many different ways, not just through the probate court. Good luck.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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