Forensic and Capacity Assessments
Clinical Evaluations and Interviews
Dr. Michael W. Hamilton has 30 years of experience evaluating, assessing, diagnosing and solving problems for adults, adolescents and children. Dr. Hamilton has earned Diplomate status of Clinical Forensic Counseling, is licensed in the state of FL and is a certified Cognitive-Behavior Therapist.
For the last three decades, Dr. Hamilton has performed countless evaluations in the clinical setting for various emotional and learning disorders, IQ testing and chronic pain. In the forensic setting his evaluations for cases involving competency, criminal, sex offender risk and mental health disability have held up well and has been highly respected in court.
He is especially skilled in providing capacity assessments for older adults who are in the process of writing a will and thought to have diminished capacity. Dr. Hamilton understands the critical nature of providing an accurate and comprehensive assessment that will assist clinical and legal professionals in balancing the need to promote autonomy of older adults with the need to protect and provide for those who are vulnerable. His evaluations are highly effective for those who may have concern over their will being challenged.
Dr. Hamilton is able to evaluate a person's cognitive functioning, memory capacity and reasoning ability. These factors are important in determining whether an individual is competent to execute a will, to determine medical directives relating to long term care, or to assign a power of attorney or open a trust account. Capacity can become a key focus in a will contest when the capacity of the testator is at issue; in a dispute about medical treatment in which the ability to give informed consent is questioned; or in civil litigation in which contractual capacity is a factor. This may also be an important factor in divorce settlements.
Dr. Hamilton's role addresses an individuals level of mental decline, by assessing their cognitive deficits present so the court can determine the appropriateness to appoint a guardian to manage the person's financial affairs and to make medical decisions regarding long term care if needed.
Dr. Hamilton's evaluations includes a review of the person's medical and psychological history, with information being supplied by family members as well as the individual being evaluated.
Following the medical review, Dr. Hamilton will conduct a clinical interview with his client which includes several measures of orientation, short term memory and reasoning ability. After the clinical interview, psychological testing is administered, according to the interview results, to objectively assess memory functions, cognitive reasoning ability and judgment.
Dr. Hamilton will then offer his expert opinion, based on the evaluation, regarding whether the person is capable of making decisions regarding their welfare and finances. This process can also be done retroactively at times, to determine if an individual was competent when their last will was executed.
Dr. Hamilton has extensive expertise with couples and marriages from all walks of life. His research and experience specifically with blended families and second marriages, makes Dr. Hamilton ideal for providing counseling for couples with unlimited conflict issues, related but not limited to: sex, finances, parenting. and other common marital and family stressors.
Dr. Hamilton can help smooth the rough edges with post-divorce related issues with new spouses and step-children. His clinical and personal experience has helped him formulate negoteation skills to help prevent and minimize emotional explosions of former spouses. He is experienced in assisting in the development of solid marital separation agreements (MSA's), helping to ensure parental rights, and can help put out fires with former marriages reducing legal issues. If requested or court ordered, Dr. Hamilton can provide child custody evaluations.
Dr. Hamilton's therapeutic approach is highly effective for eradicating depression, anxiety, anger and guilt. Dr. Hamilton has helped thousands of people learn how to dispute distorted thoughts leading to inappropriate sexuality, substance abuse, addiction and self-defeating behavior, and has helped them develop coping skills to last a life time. His existential therapeutic skills help those with grief and loss.
4236 59th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209 ~ (941) 795-5712