What Is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

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For those who are caring for a senior or acting as a court-appointed guardian for a disabled adult, there can be a lot to learn. There are financial rules, court rules, and laws to understand. Often, getting legal authority to protect aging loved one can be far more complicated than anticipated. In most cases, you will need to get a physician’s statement in order to prove to the court that a guardianship or conservatorship is necessary. Sometimes, however, additional evidence is required to resolve disputes. In recent years, these cases have increasingly started to involve highly-specialized evidence, including neuropsychological reports.

To better understand these types of reports, consider the nature and extent of what goes into a neuropsychology report.

What Is Required to Establish Guardianship or Conservatorship?

Whether you seek to manage the financial or healthcare affairs of a disabled adult, you will need to file a petition, serve it on the disabled adult, and provide the court with a report of a physician, showing the reasons for the proceeding.  

The physician’s report will briefly lay out the reasons for guardianship or conservatorship, along with the medical reasons why the ward is mentally incompetent.

What Is a Neuropsychology Report?

A neuropsychologist is a professional clinician who is trained in psychology and focuses on how physical ailments and conditions affect behavior and cognition. Unlike a medical doctor, most neuropsychologists do not prescribe medications or surgeries. Instead, they perform detailed evaluations, using standardized tests and measurements to quantify mental capacity, cognitive abilities, or other conditions.

When an allegedly-disabled adult is involved in a contested proceeding, it may sometimes be necessary to clarify just exactly what the person can and cannot do on their own. For instance, imagine a senior who disagrees with the need for a conservator. This individual may lack cognitive ability to make financial decisions but have just enough capacity to raise questions and appear competent in limited interactions with the court. A court-ordered evaluation can, at times, help to determine whether a conservator or guardian is appropriate.

Complex Cases Call for Delicate Handling

As a final consideration, remember that the court is always going to be looking for what is in the best interests of the alleged disabled adult. This means asking questions, relying on a guardian ad litem, and carefully looking for clear evidence to help resolve disputes. A neuropsychologist is not always a good option, and it can be expensive. But in disputed cases where family members disagree or where a disabled adult is unwilling to consent to a guardian or conservator, it can be a very helpful piece of evidence.

Talk to a Guardianship Attorney Today

At the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, we understand many of the complexities and challenges that come with these cases. If you and your family are dealing with a crisis involving aging loved one with dementia or other cognitive deficiencies, don’t wait too long to take action. Talk to an attorney right away.

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