Capacity Assessments for Older Adults Making Changes to their Last Will and Testament

    Recently, more and more attorneys and well advised families have approached our office seeking Testamentary Capacity Evaluations on elderly individuals who have decided to make changes to their Last Will and Testament. These evaluations are particularly helpful when dealing with high asset estates and conflictual families. They serve to preserve the testator’s wishes regarding the distribution of their estate, and avoid future claims of undue influence that could potentially invalidate a will. In these situations, there is no room for error; the forensic psychologist must know what they are doing, have a reputation for honesty and unbiased opinions, and have the ability to present information effectively on the witness stand. Dr. Kristin Tolbert, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in Palm Beach …

    Eliminating “Hired Guns”, Bias Reports, and Poorly Executed Psychological Evaluations from the Courtroom

      When a judge orders someone to undergo a psychological evaluation, you can safely assume that the matter at hand is not a trivial one. The judge finds the matter serious enough to take a step back, dig deeper, and learn more about a person or situation before making a final decision. With so much riding on the line, it is important that the psychologist who is hired to complete the evaluation not only knows what they are doing, but is also on top of their game. There is no room for carelessness, bias opinions, “hired guns”, or half-hazard, rushed work. …

      Hiring the Right Forensic Psychologist for Your Court Case

        If you have been recommended or ordered to complete a psychological evaluation, it is important to do your homework and carefully review your options before selecting a forensic psychologist for your case. The following list outlines important information you should consider before hiring your expert: 1. The psychologist’s credentials and experience. It’s important to have access to the psychologist’s resume, also called a Curriculum Vitae (CV), prior to making arrangements for an evaluation to take place. The information on this document will give you insight as to whether or not the psychologist has had experience in cases such as yours, …

        The Forensic Psychologist’s Role in Guardianship/Incapacity Evaluations

          In the state of Florida, the definition of an “incapacitated person” is an individual who “…lacks the capacity to manage at least some of the person’s property or to meet at least some of the person’s essential health and safety requirements. A minor shall be treated as being incapacitated.” Fla.Stat. §731.201(21). In Palm Beach County, Florida, if someone has concerns over another person’s ability to make important decisions in their life, they must petition the court to determine if the person is incapacitated, and to have a guardian possibly appointed for that person. If the alleged incapacitated person does not …