Testamentary Capacity and Guardianship Assessments

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5 Scopus citations


This article discusses the ever-increasing opportunity for forensic mental health evaluators to provide assistance to the legal system in the areas of testamentary capacity and guardianship assessments. These areas of evaluation are defined, and a discussion of preparation and execution of effective evaluations is provided. The legal concepts of undue influence and insane delusion are defined and applied to the evaluator's interview. Common cognitive concerns such as dementia and delirium may affect an evaluee's capacity, and their presence and effect on the evaluee are considered. Evaluators are encouraged to carefully consider specific capacities related to the relevant legal questions posed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-927
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Capacity assessment
  • Geriatric psychiatric assessment
  • Guardianship
  • Insane delusion
  • Testmentary capacity
  • Undue influence
  • Ward
  • Wills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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