Capacity Laws: Capacity Criteria/Tests

Laws which regulate legal capacity usually contain criteria, sometimes referred to as a “test of capacity”

Capacity Criteria/Tests:

  • Often (but not always) focus on cognition, and often contain the following requirements:
    • Ability to understand information that is relevant to making a decision
    • Ability to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of decision
  • Apply to many types of decisions, such as: health, property, personal care, making a will and contracts
  • Differ depending on:
    • Type of decision
    • Specific law that governs the decision
    • Jurisdiction