Testamentary Capacity


Taylor v. Hanks, [Ms. 1190203, Feb. 26, 2021], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2021). The Court (Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, and Stewart, JJ., concur; Mitchell, J., concurs in the result) reverses the Mobile Probate Court’s order granting summary judgment in Taylor’s contest of his father’s will asserting lack of testamentary capacity. The Court reiterates that if a “ ‘ “testator knows his estate and to whom he wishes to give his property and understands that he is executing a will, he has testamentary capacity.” ’ ” Ms. *6, quoting Ex parte Helms, 873 So. 2d 1139, 1147 (Ala. 2003) (quoting in turn, Smith v. Vice, 641 So. 2d 785, 786 (Ala. 1994)). Citing evidence that the will misstated that the testator had no children [when he in fact had one estranged son] and that the will was executed while the testator was hospitalized after having suffered a stroke, the Court holds

Considering all the unique evidence in this case, viewing that evidence in the light most favorable to Taylor as the nonmovant, and resolving all reasonable doubts against Hanks as the movant, as we must ,..., we conclude that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Hite had testamentary capacity. Accordingly, we reverse the summary judgment entered in favor of Hanks on Taylor’s will-contest claim.

Ms. *13.

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