Abstract

The ability to manage financial affairs is a life skill of critical importance, and neuropsychologists are increasingly asked to assess financial capacity across a variety of settings. Sound clinical assessment of financial capacity requires knowledge and appreciation of applicable clinical conceptual models and principles. However, the literature has presented relatively little conceptual guidance for clinicians concerning financial capacity and its assessment. This article seeks to address this gap. The article presents six clinical models of financial capacity : (1) the early gerontological IADL model of Lawton, (2) the clinical skills model and (3) related cognitive psychological model developed by Marson and colleagues, (4) a financial decision-making model adapting earlier decisional capacity work of Appelbaum and Grisso, (5) a person-centered model of financial decision-making developed by Lichtenberg and colleagues, and (6) a recent model of financial capacity in the real world developed through the Institute of Medicine. Accompanying presentation of the models is discussion of conceptual and practical perspectives they represent for clinician assessment. Based on the models, the article concludes by presenting a series of conceptually oriented guidelines for clinical assessment of financial capacity. In summary, sound assessment of financial capacity requires knowledge and appreciation of clinical conceptual models and principles. Awareness of such models, principles and guidelines will strengthen and advance clinical assessment of financial capacity.

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