A person is deemed to be incompetent when they no longer display the ability to make decisions that are in their best interests. While you cannot have someone declared incompetent because they make decisions you do not agree with, a person can be declared incompetent if they appear to be living in their own reality.
Here are five general steps to follow to get someone declared legally incompetent:
In other words, it’s up to courts, not doctors, to say whether someone is incompetent. This is governed by state law so different states have different criteria. But overall, if someone is found in court to be incompetent, they often will be assigned a guardian or conservator to manage decisions on their behalf.
1. Lack of legal ability to do something, especially to testify or stand trial. Also known as “incompetency.” May be caused by various types of disqualification, inability, or unfitness. Someone who is judged incompetent by means of a formal hearing may have a guardian appointed by the court.
An attorney may be appointed to represent the person with dementia. The hearing will allow any objections to, or evidence for and against, declaring the person incompetent.
A doctor cannot go against a person’s wishes unless a court declares the person legally incapacitated or the person’s wishes are medically or ethically inappropriate. If doctors find that a person lacks clinical capacity, they turn to someone with the legal authority to act as substitute decision maker.
An individual can be defined as mentally incompetent if they are manifestly psychotic or otherwise of unsound mind, either consistently or sporadically, by reason of a mental defect.
Competency is a global assessment and legal determination made by a judge in court. Capacity is a functional assessment and a clinical determination about a specific decision that can be made by any clinician familiar with a patient’s case.
Other suggestions, from Nolo’s article “Preventing Challenges to your Financial Power of Attorney,” include signing in front of witnesses, then having them sign statements that you appeared competent; getting a doctor’s written, dated opinion that you are of sound mind; and making a video of a statement of intent to
The LPA forms need to be signed by someone, apart from your chosen attorney, to state that you have the mental capacity to make an LPA. The forms also need to be witnessed. You then need to register each LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. Either you or your attorney can do this.
Simple Laziness A common cause of incompetence is laziness, which can lead to errors, lateness and other problems. Not double checking your work is an example of incompetence, since anyone can do that.
What happens if a defendant is found to be incompetent? The judge temporarily suspends the trial with a finding of incompetency. Neither may the defendant plead guilty or not guilty or make a waiver of constitutional rights. Proceedings are suspended.
Frequency: The definition of incompetent is someone or something not qualified, inadequate or insufficient for a given purpose. An example of incompetent is a person getting behind the wheel of a manual transmission car, who doesn’t know how to drive with a stick shift.
making sure that the person with dementia has the opportunity to consider making an enduring power of attorney (if they don’t already have one) as soon as possible after diagnosis and while they still have the capacity to do so.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recently announced that compulsive hoarding is now considered a mental disability, and is therefore protected under the nation’s various disability related laws; this includes the fair housing laws under The Civil Rights Act of 1968 and various state and local fair housing
Typically, as long as dementia is minor or nonexistent, a person in the beginning stages of a dementia-causing disorder will be deemed mentally competent in the eyes of the law.