Wills and Estates: Succession Law and Testamentary Capacity

  • Stephen Lynch
Reference work entry


This chapter examines testamentary capacity – that is, the legal concept of whether or not a person has the ability to make a binding will. It sets out the development of the legal concept of testamentary capacity to its position today, as well as describing the criteria for determining whether or not a person has, or had at a particular time, testamentary capacity, as set out in the well-known judgment of Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QR 549. It also details the concept of the “statutory will,” which allows the Supreme Court of each state to authorize a will to be made, varied, or revoked on behalf of a person without capacity. Each of these matters is considered with an emphasis upon the role of the medical practitioner in providing his or her opinion regarding capacity and other matters.


Death Certificate Medical Practitioner Medical Evidence Deceased Person Expert Evidence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Somerville LegalNorth SydneyAustralia

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