Mental capacity

Everyone is presumed to have the necessary mental capacity to make their own decisions unless it has been shown that this is not the case.

A person can have capacity even if they require some assistance to help them to understand the information given to them, or to communicate their decision.

It cannot be presumed that because someone has a mental disability or disorder, or because a person proposes something that others consider unwise, that they lack capacity. Assumptions should also not be made on the basis of someone’s age, appearance or behaviour.

Importantly, someone may lack the mental capacity to make their own decision on one issue, but at the same time have capacity to make other decisions. Capacity can also change, so a loss of capacity can be temporary or fluctuate.

Our specialist team can assist you in obtaining medical evidence of someone’s capacity if necessary.

On some occasions there may be a dispute about whether someone has the necessary mental capacity to make a particular decision and the Court of Protection may become involved. We can advise you about applications to the Court of Protection if necessary.

If you are concerned about the capacity of someone to make a decision and would like to discuss the issues further then please do not hesitate to contact us.