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Mental Health Credit: Paul Craft / Shutterstock.com

Maybe you are an estate lawyer planning to commence a court proceeding to approve an accounting, determine the validity of a will, or seek instructions on an administration issue. Or you are drafting a nonjudicial settlement agreement under our Trust Code. You turn to your client for a list of the beneficiaries, including where they live and whether they are minors.   

Your client gives you that list, but (perhaps even in passing) tells you about S.T., one of the beneficiaries. “She’s a very smart woman,” your client says, “but she got hit in the head at work a few years ago.” You wonder: can S.T. be joined in the proceeding or sign that agreement? You ask your client to tell you more. “Well,” your client says, “she’s on disability. I was told she had a concussion, but then I heard it was a ‘traumatic brain injury.’”

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