A Boutique Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Good News! You Don’t Have to Be Sane!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It is customary for a last will and testament to begin with a statement that the person making the will (the “testator”) is “of sound mind” or words to similar effect. Although it is a nice custom (and one that we follow), it has at least two oddities. First, it proves little, since schizophrenics think they are of sound mind too. Second, and more importantly, the testator does not necessarily have to be of sound mind to make a will!

In order to make a valid will, a person must have what is called “testamentary capacity,” which is not necessarily the same thing as being of sound mind. A person has testamentary capacity if he or she has a general awareness of three things:

  • The nature and extent of his or her assets;
  • The “natural objects” of his or her “bounty” (meaning immediate family or other heirs); and
  • The contents and effect of the will.

As long as you are aware of these three things, you are competent to make a will, even if you fail some other test for sanity.

For example, multiple court cases extending back many decades have established that a will cannot be set aside merely because the testator was having insane delusions when he executed the will. To invalidate the will, it must also be shown that the will was the product of those delusions.

So here’s a good rule of thumb: You can’t make a will leaving your estate to an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit, but its fine if he sits next to you while you sign.

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Frankel Sims

410-828-7775

Contact: Frank Campbell

410-263-1667

Sims & Campbell Estates and Trusts

Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell
Merge to Form Sims & Campbell

Firm will offer comprehensive Trusts & Estates services through offices in Towson and Annapolis

TOWSON, Md. (April 26,2019)  Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell have jointly announced the merger of their firms to create a boutique Trusts & Estates law firm providing comprehensive services in the fields of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. The combined firm will be named Sims & Campbell and have offices in Towson, Md. and Annapolis, Md.  Jane Frankel Sims and Frank Campbell will lead and hold equal ownership stakes in the firm.

Sims & Campbell will have 9 attorneys and 15 legal professionals that handle every facet of estate and wealth transfer planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, estate and gift tax advice, and charitable giving strategies.  The firm will focus solely on Trusts & Estates but will serve a wide range of clients, from young families with modest resources to ultra-high net worth individuals.  This allows clients to remain with the firm as their level of wealth and the complexity of related estate and tax implications change over time. 

“By joining forces, we have expanded our footprint to conveniently serve clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia” said Jane Frankel Sims.  We are seeing some of the greatest wealth transfer in our country’s history, and we want to continue to be on the leading edge of helping our clients maintain and enhance their family’s wealth.  In addition, we aim to serve our clients for years to come, and the new firm structure will allow Sims & Campbell to thrive even after Frank and I have retired.”    

“Jane and I have always admired each other’s firms and recognized the need to provide even greater depth and breadth of focused expertise to help families amass and protect their wealth from generation to generation,” said Frank Campbell.  “Now we have even greater capabilities to make a real difference for our clients.” 

The Sims & Campbell Towson office is located at 500 York Road, on the corner of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Towson.  The Annapolis office is currently located at 716 Melvin Avenue, and is moving to 181 Truman Parkway in August, 2019.  For more information, visit www.simscampbell.law.