Assessing testamentary and decision-making capacity: Approaches and models

Purser, Kelly & Rosenfeld, Tuly (2015) Assessing testamentary and decision-making capacity: Approaches and models. Journal of Law and Medicine, 23(1), pp. 121-136.

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The need for better and more accurate assessments of testamentary and decision-making capacity grows as Australian society ages and incidences of mentally disabling conditions increase. Capacity is a legal determination, but one on which medical opinion is increasingly being sought. The difficulties inherent within capacity assessments are exacerbated by the ad hoc approaches adopted by legal and medical professionals based on individual knowledge and skill, as well as the numerous assessment paradigms that exist. This can negatively affect the quality of assessments, and results in confusion as to the best way to assess capacity. This article begins by assessing the nature of capacity. The most common general assessment models used in Australia are then discussed, as are the practical challenges associated with capacity assessment. The article concludes by suggesting a way forward to satisfactorily assess legal capacity given the significant ramifications of getting it wrong.

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ID Code: 87002
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Capacity assessment, Testamentary capacity, Financial capacity, Substitute decision making, Models for assessment
ISSN: 1320-159X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters
Deposited On: 02 Sep 2015 03:24
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 05:54

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