Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Robert L. HeilbronnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1871




In the most basic sense, capacity refers to the ability to make decision(s) with regard to oneself. Specifically, this refers to one’s ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of one’s actions. Legal capacity remains in effect until death, unless a court rules that one is “incapacitated.” If a person is ruled by a court of law to be legally incapacitated, this can remove all or part of a person’s right to make decisions. Specifically, one can be deemed incapable of managing financial affairs but ruled capable of making medical decisions, for example. If a person is ruled to lack full legal capacity, then they are prohibited from entering into a contract, giving a power of attorney, creating a will, or consenting to medical treatment. A ruling of legal incapacity typically results in the appointment of a guardian or conservator to make decisions for the person. There are several types of capacity that are relevant to forensic neuropsychology...

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References and Readings

  1. Marson, D. C., & Hebert, K. (2005). Assessing civil competencies in older adults with dementia: Consent capacity, financial capacity, and testamentary capacity. In G. Larrabee (Ed.), Forensic neuropsychology: A scientific approach. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Marson, D. C., Sawrie, S., Snyder, S., McInturff, B., Stalvery, T., Boothe, A., et al. (2000). Assessing financial capacity in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A conceptual model and prototype instrument. Archives of Neurology, 57, 877–884.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Willis, S. (1996). Everyday cognitive competence in elderly persons: Conceptual issues and empirical findings. The Gerontologist, 36, 595–601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chicago Neuropsychology GroupChicagoUSA