Sound mind and memory

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Sound mind and memory refers to a person’s state of being at the time of the making of their will. A sound mind and memory means the person has sufficient mental capacity to understand their actions. To determine whether the person had a sound mind and memory at the time of the making of the will, the court will examine whether the person understood what possessions they owned, whether the person understood the relationship between them and the people receiving their possessions, and whether the person understood the meaning and effect of the will. 

A party contesting the will has to provide evidence to the court to show that the person did not have a sound mind at the time they signed the will. The court can call upon witnesses who saw the person signing the will, to determine mental capacity. If the court determines the person did not have a sound mind, the will fails.  

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team