Incapacity Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Incapacity, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Incapacity?

It refers to the inability of entering into a contract or agreement of any kind due to absence of competence and qualification. For eg. An employee may not be able to apply for a certain position of the company because of their old age, physical inability, mental not qualified for the job. In cases of marriage contracts anyone below 18 years of age is not legally competent to enter into such contracts.

History and Meaning of Incapacity

Incapacity is a legal term used to describe a person's inability to legally engage in certain activities or transactions because of a lack of qualification, experience or competence. It can refer to both physical and mental attributes that prevent someone from acting in their own best interest or the interest of others.

Incapacity has its roots in common law, and has evolved over time to encompass a wide range of situations, from contractual agreements to guardianship decisions. The concept of incapacity is closely linked to the idea of legal capacity, or the ability to make legal decisions and enter into binding agreements.

Examples of Incapacity

  1. A minor under the age of 18 is considered legally unable to enter into a contract or agreement, including marriage or property ownership.
  2. A person who has been declared mentally impaired may be deemed legally incapable of making decisions regarding their finances or medical treatment.
  3. An individual with a severe disability may be unable to perform certain job functions or enter certain work environments due to incapacity.
  4. A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be considered temporarily legally incapacitated and therefore unable to enter into certain agreements.

Legal Terms Similar to Incapacity

  1. Legal Capacity: The ability to make legal decisions and enter into binding agreements.
  2. Competence: The legal ability to understand and act on one's own behalf in a given situation.
  3. Disability: A physical or mental condition that influences a person's ability to engage in certain activities or transactions.
  4. Guardianship: The legal right to make decisions on behalf of someone who is deemed legally incapacitated.