Banks -v- Goodfellow – Is it any Good for Testing Testamentary Capacity?

The case of Banks -v- Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 has been used since the 1880’s to decide whether someone has capacity to make a Will. With an ageing population the question of capacity to make a Will is asked more frequently than ever.

If you have doubts over a loved one’s capacity when they made their Will you can challenge the Will and have it set aside. The recent case of Clitheroe v Bond, 2020 EWHC 1185 Ch decided that Banks -v- Goodfellow was still the right test to apply. Under the test if the testator is suffering from a disease of the mind their Will can be set aside. A disease of the mind can be anything from Dementia, grief over bereavement and depression. In Clitheroe v Bond, 2020 EWHC 1185 Ch the Wills of the testatrix were set aside on the grounds of lack of capacity as she was suffering from delusional beliefs.

The matter is being challenged by the testatrix son as he feels the Banks -v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 test is old case law and should no longer be used for testing capacity. We eagerly await the Judgement.

If you would like to speak to someone about a challenge to a Will please contact Ms Annam Nasir or Harkeert Kaur Samra on 0121-233-6912.