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Legal Capacity

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Legal capacity is the ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of one’s actions and to make rational decisions. In most cases, if a person with dementia is able to understand the meaning and importance of a given legal document, he or she likely has the legal capacity to execute (to carry out by signing) it.

In most cases, if a person with dementia is able to understand the meaning and importance of a given legal document, he or she likely has the legal capacity to execute (to carry out by signing) it.

Legal capacity is the ability to understand and appreciate the consequences of one’s actions and to make rational decisions.

The requirements of legal capacity can vary from one document to another. A lawyer can help determine what level of legal capacity is required for a person to sign a particular document.

Before a person with dementia signs a legal document:

Talk with the person

Find out if the person with dementia understands the legal document — and the consequences of signing it. Make sure the person knows what is being explained and what he or she is being asked to do.

Ask for medical advice

A doctor may be able to assist in determining the level of a person’s mental ability.

Take inventory of existing legal documents

Verify whether living wills, trusts and powers of attorney were signed before the person was diagnosed. The person may no longer remember having completed them. Even if legal documents were completed in the past, it is important to review them with another person for necessary corrections and/or updates

Information Source https://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_legalplans.pdf