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Capacity to Manage Property & Financial Affairs

A Property and Financial Affairs Capacity Assessment may be undertaken where a person’s ability to make decisions about their property or finances is in question. This will be tailored to the person’s specific situation, for example, we may be asked to complete such an assessment where a person has been awarded a financial settlement as part of a litigation claim, or perhaps where a person can no longer manage their finances independently, or where a person may have regained capacity and is hoping to come out of a Deputyship arrangement.

What is the legal test used for a Property and Financial Affairs Mental Capacity Assessment?

A Property and Finances Mental Capacity Assessment always uses the Mental Capacity Act (2005) two stage test of capacity to determine whether a person lacks capacity to make the decision in question.

In order to satisfy this test, a cognitive impairment must be present (this is the diagnostic test) and the person will be assessed as to whether they are able to understand, retain, and use and weigh information specific to the decision being made (this is known as the functional test).

A Causative Nexus must be established, that is to say, there must be a link between the functional test and the diagnostic test in order for a person to be assessed as lacking capacity for a specific decision.

Assessment process

In order to complete a thorough assessment, we will request information such as the client’s income and outgoings, savings and investments and property owned. This information will be kept strictly confidential and used to develop questions for the assessment and to verify the answers given.

If a person lacks capacity to make decisions about their property and financial affairs, they will need to appoint somebody to make their decisions for them. This can be done either through making a Lasting Power of Attorney or by an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy. We can arrange an assessment of mental capacity for Lasting Power of Attorney or completion of a COP3 form if required.

The assessment can take place either by video link or face to face depending on your location. We will be guided by you as to the best time to assess and whether you need a supporting person in the assessment. We will also take into consideration any communication needs and adapt the assessment accordingly. The assessment will take the format of a conversation rather than it being a formal test.


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