Every step of the legal hotline & helpline service delivery model can include questions and case notes to assess and document a client’s level of capacity. Helpline advocates assess capacity every time they communicate with a client. This session will examine what legal capacity is, the essential elements of capacity for the most common forms of advance planning, and offer suggestions for incorporating capacity assessment into standard hotline & helpline services. We will explore the importance of capacity in legal ethics and in helping to minimize the risk of abuse, exploitation, and undue influence.
Learning objectives for this training include:
• Legal capacity assessment can be incorporated into every step of the hotline & helpline service delivery process.
• Everyone who talks with a client is involved in assessing and documenting capacity.
• Special attention should be given to short term memory, ability to communicate, ability to follow directions, emotional stability, and indicators of mental health challenges.
• Careful assessment of legal capacity is essential to avoid putting the client at greater risk of abuse, exploitation, or undue influence.
Presenter: David Godfrey, Senior Attorney, ABA Commission on Law and Aging