Incapacity Law and Legal Definition

Incapacity is subject to different meanings. In the context of worker's compensation, disability insurance, or Social Security claims under "SSI", it refers to not being able to perform any gainful employment due to congenital disability, illness (including mental), physical injury, advanced age or intellectual deficiency.

In probate law, a challenge to the validity of a will often involves a claim of lack of testamentary capacity. Testamentary incapacity refers to a lack of the ability to understand one's actions in making a will, knowing who the people are who stand to inherit, or the undue influence of another in making a will. Mental weakness may show lack of capacity to make a will, as can fear, intimidation or persistent drunkenness.

Incapacity may also refer to lack of sound mind or lack of maturity to enter into a binding agreement or make decisions on one's own behalf. In some situations involving persons with mental defects or minors, a guardian may be appointed to represent their interests in important matters. Incapacity may also refer to lack of ability to stand trial.