Psychology Chartered

Case Studies

Saturday 15th December 2018

Testamentary Capacity Assessment

The recent settlement of Aseem’s personal injury claim meant that his solicitors were duty bound to ensure a will was in place.  A brain injury in 2013 had rendered Aseem unable to manage his finances.

Cognitive assessment highlighted Aseem’s impulsivity, limited ability to plan/organise and reduced memory.  However, Aseem appeared to fulfil the key Banks v Goodfellow criteria; of above average intellect, he could understand the nature of a will and its effects.  He could also clearly appreciate the extent of the property he would be disposing.

However, his solicitor was concerned that exclusion of his brother in the will raised questions regarding Aseem’s awareness of the persons that he would usually be expected to provide.  Was this based upon clear reasoning or capriciousness?

Discussion with the solicitor suggested the importance of further assessment to clarify and corroborate Aseem’s reasoning.  It was evidenced that Aseem’s view regarding the exclusion of his sibling, both within and across discussions, was extremely consistent and based upon clear views regarding the absence of a meaningful relationship with his sibling.