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Mental health professionals are frequently involved in mental capacity determinations. However, there is a lack of specific measures and well-defined procedures for these evaluations. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a review of financial and testamentary capacity evaluation procedures, including not only the traditional neuropsychological and functional assessment but also the more recently developed forensic assessment instruments (FAIs), which have been developed to provide a specialized answer to legal systems regarding civil competencies.
Here the main guidelines, papers, and other references are reviewed in order to achieve a complete and comprehensive selection of instruments used in the assessment of financial and testamentary capacity.
Although some specific measures for financial abilities have been developed recently, the same is not true for testamentary capacity. Here are presented several instruments or methodologies for assessing financial and testamentary capacity, including neuropsychological assessment, functional assessment scales, performance based functional assessment instruments, and specific FAIs.
FAIs are the only specific instruments intended to provide a specific and direct answer to the assessment of financial capacity based on legal systems. Considering the need to move from a diagnostic to a functional approach in financial and testamentary capacity evaluations, it is essential to consider both general functional examination as well as cognitive functioning.
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