Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wilson v. Lane case brief

Wilson v. Lane case brief summary
614 S.E.2d 88 (2005)

Caveators of a will sought review of the judgment of a trial court (Georgia), which, after a jury found that a testatrix lacked testamentary capacity at the time that she executed her will, granted the executrix's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict in the testatrix's action seeking to admit to probate the testatrix's last will and testament.


The testatrix signed the will in question three years before her death. At trial, the attorney who drafted her will testified that, in his opinion, the testatrix was mentally competent at the time that the will was signed and that she emphatically selected all 17 beneficiaries. However, the caveators challenged the testatrix's capacity by showing that she was eccentric, aged, and peculiar in the last years of her life. The jury found that the testatrix lacked testamentary capacity; however, the trial court granted the executrix's subsequent motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.


  • On appeal, the court found that the trial court was correct to reverse the jury's verdict because the evidence showed that the testatrix had testamentary capacity, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 53-2-21(b), in that she was able to form a rational desire regarding the disposition of her property. 
  • The court noted that no testimony was offered to establish that, at the time that the will was executed, the testatrix suffered from a form of dementia sufficient in form or extent to render her unable to form a decided and rational desire regarding the disposition of the assets.

The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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