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Last Will and Testament: Forensic Psychiatry’s Last Frontier?

The Psychiatrist’s Role in Will Contests
  • Robert Lloyd Goldstein
Part of the Critical Issues in American Psychiatry and the Law book series (CIAP, volume 2)

Abstract

A will is a legal instrument that is executed in accordance with certain formalities, by which a person directs the disposition of his property to take effect following his death. The principal distinction between a will and other types of conveyances (i.e., transfers of title to property) is that a will takes effect only on the death of the maker of the will. In order to protect all persons involved, the law surrounds the making of a will with certain specified formalities, which may vary from state to state depending on local statutory schemes. Each state has its own laws dealing with the right* to make testamentary disposition of one’s property (although a number of states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, which simplifies the requirements and procedures). The person who makes a will is the testator (testatrix in the case of a woman). A will contest is a probate proceeding (probate means literally prove; a probate proceeding seeks to prove the will of the deceased).

Keywords

Probate Proceeding Legal Instrument Undue Influence Mental Deficiency Forensic Psychiatry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lloyd Goldstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, The College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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