A mental capacity assessment to ascertain if a deputyship application to the court of protection will be needed, is a formal evaluation conducted to determine an individual’s ability to make decisions for themselves and understand the implications and consequences of those decisions.
A capacity assessment for deputyship is typically carried out when there are concerns about a person’s capacity to make decisions about their financial affairs and understanding of everyday money management.
The assessment is usually conducted by health or social care professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists, or social workers who are trained in assessing mental capacity.
They will assess the individual’s cognitive abilities, understanding, memory, reasoning, and communication skills to determine whether they have the capacity to make informed decisions.
The assessment process may involve interviews, discussions, and standardised tests, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
The professionals conducting the assessment will consider various factors, such as the person’s ability to understand and retain information, weigh the pros and cons of different options, and communicate their decisions clearly.
The purpose of a mental capacity assessment is to determine whether an individual has the capacity to make decisions independently or whether they require assistance or support provided by a deputy, appointee or advocate, to make decisions in their best interests.
The assessment aims to respect and uphold the person’s autonomy while ensuring their well-being and protection when they lack the capacity to make decisions that may significantly impact their life.