Now Accepting New Clients!

WILLS/TRUST 28: The test for assessing an individual’s competency as to a conveyance of property.


JV died in June 2013. A bench trial took place during which W and other heirs argued that JV was mentally incompetent, in part, due to Parkinson’s disease, at the time of signing the 2012 will and POA and the 2013 deed. March 14, 2013, JV signed a ladybird deed granting his home, upon his death, to his cousin. They also argued that LVJ abused the POA by diverting funds and making various errors in settling JV’s estate.

Competency and Related Issues

W argued that JV was incompetent when signing the 2012 will and POA and the 2013 deed. We disagree. MCL 700.2501(2) provides: An individual has sufficient mental capacity to make a will if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The individual has the ability to understand that he or she is providing for the disposition of his or her property after death.

(b) The individual has the ability to know the nature and extent of his or her property.

(c) The individual knows the natural objects of his or her bounty.

(d) The individual has the ability to understand in a reasonable manner the general nature and effect of his or her act in signing the will.

The test for assessing an individual’s competency as to a conveyance of property is whether at the time he executed the deeds in question he had sufficient mental capacity to understand the business in which he was engaged, to know and understand the extent and value of his property, and how he wanted to dispose of it, and to keep these facts in his mind long enough to plan and effect the conveyances in question without prompting and interference from others.


The treating physician testified that advanced Parkinson’s disease was progressive and often causes cognitive impairment, but that impairment can be intermittent throughout the day. In addition, the attorney who assisted with the signings testified that before the signings he talked with JV to see if he understood what was happening and stated that he had no information and observed no signs indicating that JV was not competent.

Probate Court

The probate court greatly emphasized the intermittent nature of JV’s confusion and concluded that the attorney was in the best position to assess JV’s legal competence at the time of signing. The court upheld the 2012 will and power of attorney (POA) and 2013 deed executed by the deceased.

Do You Have a Will or Trust? Will It Accomplish What You Want?

We draft and review wills, trusts and other estate planning documents to help our clients with their estate objectives.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000


FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000