Capacity (law)

capacityincapacitylegal capacityincapacitatedCorporate capacityincapaxcapablecapacitiescapacity and powercontractual capacity
The capacity of natural and juridical persons (legal persons), in general, determines whether they may make binding amendments to their rights, duties, and obligations, such as getting married or merging, entering into contracts, making gifts, or writing a valid will.wikipedia
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Legal person

legal personalitylegal entitybody corporate
As legal personality is a prerequisite to legal capacity (the ability of any legal person to amend (enter into, transfer, etc.) rights and obligations), it is a prerequisite for an international organization to be able to sign international treaties in its own name.

Will and testament

willwillslast will and testament
Historically, however, it was observed that "[e]ven if a same-sex partner executes a will, there is risk that the survivor will face prejudice in court when disgruntled heirs challenge the will", with courts being more willing to strike down wills leaving property to a same-sex partner on such grounds as incapacity or undue influence.

Competence (law)

competentincompetent to stand trialincompetent
The word incompetent is used to describe persons who should not undergo certain judicial processes, and also for those who lack mental capacity to make contracts, handle their financial and other personal matters such as consenting to medical treatment, etc. and need a legal guardian to handle their affairs.


contract lawcontractsagreement
The definition of an infant or minor varies, each state reflecting local culture and prejudices in defining the age of majority, marriageable age, voting age, etc. In many jurisdictions, legal contracts, in which (at least) one of the contracting parties is a minor, are voidable by the minor.

Conflict of marriage laws

nullitymarriageNullity (conflict)
In this way, a person will not gain or lose capacity depending on the accident of the local laws, e.g. if A does not have capacity to marry her cousin under her personal law (a rule of consanguinity), she cannot evade that law by travelling to a state that does permit such a marriage (see nullity).
Status and capacity are defined by the personal laws of the parties, namely:

Public policy doctrine

public policyordre publicpublic policies
In public policy terms, this is the policy of parens patriae.
The only exception to this rule excuses those of reduced capacity, whether as infants or through mental illness (for example, see the principle of doli incapax which raises an irrebuttable presumption in criminal law that an infant is incapable of committing a crime).

Parens patriae

spousal rights
In public policy terms, this is the policy of parens patriae.
The same principles apply to individuals whose mental capacity is impaired and who are being abused by carers or other individuals, whether family members or otherwise.

Trust law

trusttrust fundtrusts
If the afflicted person has prepared documents beforehand about what to do in such cases, often in a revocable living trust or related documents, then the named legal guardian may be able to take over their financial and other affairs.
This may be done for tax reasons or to control the property and its benefits if the settlor is absent, incapacitated, or deceased.

Lasting power of attorney

Lasting Powers of AttorneyLPA
This makes provision for lasting powers of attorney under which decisions about the health, welfare, and financial assets of a person who has lost capacity may be dealt with in that person's interests.
Their purpose is to meet the needs of those who can see a time when they will not be able – in the words of the Act, will lack capacity – to look after their own personal, financial or business affairs.

Ultra vires

intra viresacted unlawfullybeyond the powers of
The general rule is that anything not included in the corporation's capacity, whether expressly or by implication, is ultra vires, i.e. "beyond the power" of the corporation, and so may be unenforceable by the corporation, but the rights and interests of innocent third parties dealing with the corporations are usually protected.


exculpationExcuse (legal)justification
In the Criminal Law, the traditional common law M'Naghten Rules excused all persons from liability if they did not understand what they were doing or if they did, that they did not know it was wrong.
Thus, a justification describes the quality of the act, whereas an excuse relates to the status or capacity (or lack of it) in the accused.

Capacity in English law

capacitycapacity to make contracts under English lawreal capacity
*Capacity in English law
If a party does not have the capacity to do so, then subsequent contracts may be invalid; however, in the interests of certainty, there is a prima facie presumption that both parties hold the capacity to contract.



married couplesopposite-sex married couplesmarried

Gift (law)

giftgiftsdonatio mortis causa

Void contract

voidcontract with Doug was declared voidNullity of a contract