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Preparing a Will for a Client with Communication Challenges

Trusts & Estates (Illinois State Bar Association), April 2012

5 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2012  

Gerry W. Beyer

Texas Tech University School of Law

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

Your client may have difficulty with communication, that is, the client may be unable to see, hear, write, or understand English. To effectively prepare a will for these clients, the estate planner must initially ascertain whether the client has a communication challenge and then take affirmative steps to make certain the challenge does not negatively impact the validity of the will. Extra attention must be given to make certain the requirements of a valid will are satisfied and that individuals displeased with the will do not use the communication challenge as a foundation for claims of undue influence or fraud. Even without other evidence, courts may subject the will of a communicationally challenged client to higher scrutiny.

This article reviews a variety of communication challenges (visually impaired, hearing or speaking impaired, physically unable to sign, illiterate, non-English speaking) and recommends techniques to reduce the likelihood of these challenges playing a part in setting aside the testator's will.

Keywords: wills, communication, blind, deaf, illiterate, estate planning, Illinois

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Beyer, Gerry W., Preparing a Will for a Client with Communication Challenges (April 2012). Trusts & Estates (Illinois State Bar Association), April 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2047803

Gerry W. Beyer (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States
806-834-4270 (Phone)
978-285-7941 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ProfessorBeyer.com

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