The Capacity to Manage Finances

  • Oliver M. GlassEmail author
  • Larry Tune
  • Adriana P. Hermida


Dementia progresses slowly, where an exact demarcation of when someone loses their ability to manage their finances is hard to determine. Delirium, which may occur independently or with co-occurring dementia, typically has a waxing and waning of cognitive ability. Therefore, when someone is delirious, there may be lucid intervals where one may argue that the individual has capacity, but moments later, the person’s consciousness may deteriorate. Evaluating monetary decision-making capacity can prove useful as it can be used to gauge whether one is at significant risk for financial exploitation. This chapter will focus on the relationship between financial decision-making and aging. How cognitive impairment may influence financial and testamentary capacity is included. A review of scales that can be used in the setting of financial capacity evaluations is also provided to help guide evaluators. Furthermore, in the setting of assessing an older individual’s capacity to manage financial decisions, this chapter provides a discussion on the importance of including an evaluation to assess an older individual’s ability to thwart undue influence.


Dementia Major neurocognitive disorder Delirium Financial capacity Testamentary capacity Financial exploitation Forensic psychiatry Geriatric psychiatry 


Conflicts of Interest or Disclosures

The authors of this book chapter have nothing to disclose and have no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver M. Glass
    • 1
    Email author
  • Larry Tune
    • 1
  • Adriana P. Hermida
    • 1
  1. 1.Emory University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesAtlantaUSA

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