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The Therapeutic Approach to Testamentary Capacity Assessment: More Than Just a Checklist

Why a Therapeutic Approach?

At Nellie Supports, the belief is that testamentary capacity should be evaluated not just through a legal lens but also through a therapeutic one. The traditional tick-box approach can sometimes fail to capture the nuances of an individual's mental and emotional state, which could be pivotal in understanding their true wishes and intentions. This is where the therapeutic approach steps in to fill the gaps.

Benefits of a Therapeutic Approach as Practiced by Nellie Supports

Comprehensive Understanding

Nellie Supports emphasizes the importance of getting to know the testator on a deeper emotional and psychological level. This rounded understanding often leads to more accurate assessments and subsequently, wills that genuinely reflect the testator's wishes.

Ethical Integrity

Taking a therapeutic approach ensures that vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly or those with mental health conditions, are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Nellie Supports places a high value on ethical considerations throughout the assessment process.

Family Harmony

The process of drafting a will can be stressful for families. A therapeutic assessment, often involving careful mediation and sometimes family counseling, can prevent future disputes and contribute to familial cohesion.

Mental Health Focus

Nellie Supports is keen on early identification of mental health issues that may impact testamentary capacity. This early detection is crucial for ensuring that the will stands up to legal scrutiny and genuinely reflects the testator’s wishes.

Practical Steps in Nellie Supports' Approach

1. **Skilled Assessors**: Nellie Supports employs social workers skilled in therapeutic assessment techniques, ensuring a person-centric approach.

2. **Comfortable Environment**: Assessments are conducted in a setting where the testator feels at ease, encouraging open dialogue.

3. **Time Allocation**: Sufficient time is allocated for each assessment, allowing for an in-depth understanding of the testator’s state of mind.

4. **Family Involvement**: When appropriate and without risking undue influence, family members may be involved in various stages of the process to provide emotional support.

5. **Documentation**: Detailed reports, capturing both the clinical and therapeutic aspects of the assessment, are meticulously prepared.


Nellie Supports believes that a therapeutic approach to testamentary capacity assessments is integral to the process of will preparation. It offers a more nuanced, respectful, and ethically sound method that upholds the dignity and wishes of the testator while also safeguarding against future legal complications. It is not just about ticking boxes; it’s about understanding people and ensuring that their final wishes are respected in the most humane way possible.

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