Adults with incapacity: guide to assessing capacity

Guidance for healthcare and social work professionals.

This document is part of a collection

Appendix 1: Sample interview questions - money and property

Please note that the following are examples only and questions will need to be tailored to the circumstances of each individual.

1. Factual understanding

Can you tell me something about your present money situation?
Where do you get your money from?
Do you get a pension? Salary? Roughly how much?
Do you have some savings? If so roughly how much?
Do you own your own house?
Do you have any debts or owe people money?
Do you have any children that re not yet fully grown-up and independent?

2. Areas of unmet need

Do you have any problems handling small bills?
Do you have any problems balancing your cheque book?
Do you manage without help?

In managing your money what different types of things do you do or watch out for? (pay bills, do banking, budget for major purchases).

Have you noticed any problems with your memory that cause you to lose track of time or forget to pay your bills on time?

Do you think you may be pressured into buying things that you don't need or making loans or gifts you really shouldn't because you find it hard to say no or find it difficult to think things through?

3. Where concern exists about inadequate functioning

i) Insight into problem

Has anyone in your family expressed concern to you about how well you are able to manage or keep track of your affairs?

You might want to introduce what you know, e.g. your daughter thinks you don't keep a careful enough watch on your money and that you won't remember to pay your bills on time. Has this ever happened?

ii) Decision-specific probing

You have refused to accept your family's offer to help, or to make a power of attorney. Why? What do you think might be the disadvantages? What might the advantages be?

What are the likely consequences of your choosing to do X? Do you think it very likely that things will turn out the way that you want?

iii) Reasoned choice

Can you tell me why you want to give your money to Fred when he calls?

What happens when you don't have any money for yourself - for your food?

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