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My dad made a will and trust with dementia. I did not inform the attorney of this. Is this will legal or did I make a mistake?

Chicago, IL |

While setting up the trust I informed the attorney of my dads dementia as he misinformed her about the sum of his assests. She then stopped and appointed a court guardian to manage his affairs. Can we get control of his estate back, was I wrong to inform her? My family of course is furious with me that I screwed up and should have kept quiet. Please advise.

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Attorney answers 1


In Michigan, as of April 1, 2010, the standard for capacity to make a trust and to make a will are the same, and that standard is relatively low. An individual who has a good idea of what his/her assets are, who their family members are and understands what the arrangements they are making are for is probably competent to make a will or trust as long as they are not under any duress or undue influence.

You should check to see what type of proceeding the attorney used to have a court appoint a guardian or conservator and who requested and paid for these services. Usually such an appointment requires that the court appoint a guardian ad litem to review the case for the judge and the submission of physicians statements unless your father was in agreement. You will also want to know who was appointed the guardian or cdonservator since this could involve fees, sometimes large in the case of a corporate fiduciary.