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The term incapacitated is referring to one's physical or mental inability to manage one's own affairs. Incapacity is a consideration in various areas of the law, notably wills and estates. Indeed, a will may be found void where it can be shown that the testator was mentally incapacitated upon its execution. Under California law, there is a presumption of sound mind when a will is executed. As a result, the party asserting testamentary incapacity must present substantial evidence showing otherwise and must also prove that the will was not made during a lucid interval. Establishing testamentary incapacity goes beyond a showing of extreme sickness or old age, and requires, for example, insane delusion.

Indiana courts have stated that the trial court shall appoint a guardian if the trial court finds that: "(1) the individual for whom the guardian is sought is an incapacitated person or a minor; and (2) the appointment of a guardian is necessary as a means of providing care and supervision of the physical person or property of the incapacitated." This appointment adheres to state statutes, which generally state the priority of persons who may be considered, starting with a person designated by the incapacitated while he or she was able or a person granted power of attorney

In various jurisdictions, a person incapacitated by injury may have their statute of limitations tolled for the action that caused the injury. For example, California law allows for a claimant to bring such claims after the claimant has recovered from incapacitation. Similarly, the Supreme Court of Indiana has held that minors are treated as incapacitated under Indiana tort law, and as a result, the period for a notice of claim is tolled until 180 days after the claimant turns 18 years old. 

[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team