2021 Georgia Code
Title 53 - Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates
Chapter 4 - Wills
Article 2 - Testamentary Capacity
§ 53-4-11. Decided and Rational Desire; Incapacity to Contract; Insanity; Advanced Age or Eccentricity

Universal Citation: GA Code § 53-4-11 (2021)
  1. Testamentary capacity exists when the testator has a decided and rational desire as to the disposition of property.
  2. An incapacity to contract may coexist with the capacity to make a will.
  3. An insane individual generally may not make a will except during a lucid interval. A monomaniac may make a will if the will is in no way connected with the monomania. In all such cases, it must appear that the will expresses the wishes of the testator unbiased by the insanity or monomania with which the testator is affected.
  4. Neither advancing age nor weakness of intellect nor eccentricity of habit or thought is inconsistent with the capacity to make a will.

(Code 1981, §53-4-11, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 504, § 10.)

Cross references.

- Capacity of parties to enter into contracts, § 13-3-20 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For article, "The Georgia Law of Insanity," see 3 Ga. B.J. 28 (1941). For survey article on wills, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciary administration, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 447 (2007). For note discussing early development of rules governing capacity to make will in Georgia, see 24 Ga. B.J. 257 (1961).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 79 Am. Jur. 2d, Wills, §§ 47 et seq., 62 et seq., 70 et seq., 74 et seq., 105.


- 95 C.J.S., Wills, §§ 4 et seq., 9, 10.


- Epilepsy as affecting testamentary capacity, 16 A.L.R. 1418.

Admissibility and weight on issue of mental capacity or undue influence in respect of will or conveyance, of instruments previously executed by the person in question, 82 A.L.R. 963.

Construction and application of statutes authorizing the appointment of trust company as guardian, trustee, or administrator upon application or consent of one acting as such (or as executor), or one entitled to appointment as such, 105 A.L.R. 1199.

Admissibility of evidence of reputation on issue of mental condition, or testamentary or contractual incapacity or capacity, 105 A.L.R. 1443.

Relative weight of testimony of attesting witnesses in support of mental competency of testator, 123 A.L.R. 88.

Proper form of question to witness or of testimony of witness, as regards mental condition of person whose capacity to execute a will is in issue, 155 A.L.R. 281.

Admissibility of declaration by beneficiary named in will in support of claim of undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity, 167 A.L.R. 13.

Insane delusion as invalidating a will, 175 A.L.R. 882.

Admissibility in will contest of financial condition or needs of those constituting natural objects of testator's bounty, 26 A.L.R.2d 374.

Effect of guardianship of adult on testamentary capacity, 89 A.L.R.2d 1120.

Testamentary capacity as affected by use of intoxicating liquor or drugs, 9 A.L.R.3d 15.

Wills: testator's illiteracy or lack of knowledge of language in which will is written as affecting its validity, 37 A.L.R.3d 889.

Validity of testamentary exercise of power of appointment by donee sane when will was executed but insane thereafter, 19 A.L.R.4th 1002.

Alzheimer's disease as affecting testamentary capacity, 47 A.L.R.5th 523.

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