Financial Capacity

Financial capacity (FC) is a medical-legal construct that represents the ability to independently manage one's financial affairs in a manner consistent with personal self-interest. FC thus involves not only performance skills (e.g., accurately counting coins/currency, completing a check register, paying bills) but also the judgment skills that optimize financial self-interest.

From a legal standpoint, FC represents the financial skills sufficient for handling one's estate and financial affairs and is the basis for determination of conservatorship of the estate (or guardianship of the estate, depending on the state legal jurisdiction). Broadly construed, FC also encompasses more specific legal “financial capacities,” such as contractual capacity, donative capacity, and testamentary capacity. Thus, FC is a very important area of assessment in the civil legal system.

From a clinical standpoint, FC ...

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