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Capacity to Make a Life Time Gift

Whether making a gift of property, a cash gift or any other high-value gift, if there is doubt about a person's capacity to make a lifetime gift, then it may be necessary for a formal mental capacity assessment to take place before the gift is made, to protect all parties.

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What does the law say?

The High Court defines the test to establish mental capacity to make lifetime gifts as the common law test, applying the principles set out in Re Beaney (1978) 1 WLR 770, rather than those set out in the Mental Capacity Act (2005). As experienced mental capacity assessors, we apply this case law throughout our assessment to make sure we gain the relevant evidence.

Your Questions Answered

  • What to expect

Our assessments usually take around an hour, and our friendly, experienced social workers do their best to make sure it's a comfortable and relaxed experience. We're accredited expert mental capacity assessors, so you're in good hands.

  • What's Included in the assessment?

Everything necessary is included, an assessment either face to face or via video link as well as a corresponding report. Where necessary our Social Workers will complete additional assessments such as a Montreal cognitive assessment and a financial decision tracker to strengthen their reports at no additional cos


  • Why Choose Nellie?

We have worked with official court solicitors to create a bespoke assessment report to assess and record the mental capacity of an adult to engage in court proceedings in the Family Court, the High Court, a county court, or the Court of Appeal.​

  • Who can complete a mental capacity assessment?

In cases involving complex or major decisions, you may need to get a professional opinion. The assessor must be an impartial, qualified professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or social worker.

  • Can we complete video-link or face to face assessments?

With the implementation of the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill (2019), we continue to provide video-link assessments, albeit as a last option and with a valid reason, duly recorded as evidence within our court-compliant reports




Social Work England is a specialist body taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles. All of our Social Workers are registered with Social Work England for your peace of mind. 


Our assessors are accredited Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) assessors with specific experience in completing capacity assessments and specialist reports.

All of our assessors have undergone extra training to become accredited financial vulnerability experts according to Lichtenberg standards, so they can provide even more detailed reports on mental capacity.


Millie had been living with her daughter, Amy, and her husband, Leonard, for the past two years following Millie's husband's death. Millie had her own room but planned to add an extension to her daughter's property to allow for an annexe to be built, giving her some independence. 

Millie had another daughter, Penny, who was concerned that she was being placed under undue influence and that Millie didn't really have the sufficient mental capacity to make the decision to give Amy what amounted to a £75,000 lifetime which could, in turn, result in Penny losing a large proportion of her potential inheritance.  

Penny called Nellie Supports to organise a mental capacity assessment, and in conjunction with Millie and Amy, an assessment meeting was agreed upon. 

Our Social Worker completed a Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Financial Decision tracker to evidence the potential risk of undue influence and a decision-specific mental capacity assessment in line with current case law. 

Due to the therapeutic nature of the way our assessments take place, Millie was able to understand Penny's concerns, as was Amy. The result was that Millie had sufficient capacity to make the lifetime gift but altered her decision to amend her will to ensure that this gift was taken into account. 

Need help now?
Contact a member of our team

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