Probate: Effect of Adjudication of Incapacity

In probate litigation in Missouri, the effect of an adjudication of incapacity or disability does not necessarily mean a person lacks capacity for all purposes after the date of adjudication.

Specifically, a person who has been adjudicated partially incapacitated or disabled shall be presumed to be competent. See Section 475.078, RSMo. In the event of a partial disability, the Court may determine that a person is incompetent for some purposes and competent for other purposes. On the other hand, a person who has been adjudicated totally incapacitated or disabled is presumed to be incompetent for all purposes.

The effect of a partial or total incapacity frequently comes up in probate litigation, particularly in trust contests or will contests when the settlor/testator/testatrix has signed the document in question close in time to the date of adjudication.

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