Mental incompetence is legally defined as the inability of a person to make or carry out important decisions regarding his or her affairs. This inability prohibits an individual from consenting to their decisions and understanding their consequences.
If the person is ruled incompetent , then the court transfers the responsibility for managing finances, living arrangements, medical decisions or any combination of these tasks to the petitioner. This process often takes a good deal of time and money.
Here are five general steps to follow to get someone declared legally incompetent : File for Guardianship. Consult an Attorney. Schedule a Psychological Evaluation. Submit the Evaluation to the Court. Attend the Hearing.
You start the process of declaring a person mentally incompetent by filing an official petition with the local district of your state’s probate court. At the same time that you are filing to have someone declared mentally incompetent , you are also filing to become their legal guardian.
The person living with dementia maintains the right to make his or her own decisions as long as he or she has legal capacity. Power of attorney does not give the agent the authority to override the principal’s decision-making until the person with dementia no longer has legal capacity.
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.
Aging parents may be left alone if they are able to quickly recognize and respond to emergencies. The seniors should be able to physically reach the phone, call 911 and communicate the emergency. However, when aging parents’ cognitive abilities are in decline, thinking and judgment skills are affected.
To be considered competent , individuals need to be able to: Comprehend information that is presented to them. Understand the importance of such information. Make sound decisions among provided choices. Understand the potential impact of their decisions.
Many people, however, flat out refuse to go . In such cases, you can try to convince them that it’s best for their own health and well-being. If that doesn’t work, you may enlist the help of another family member or even the person’s physician to talk with them.
An agent cannot: Make decisions on behalf of the principal after their death. (Unless the principal has also named the agent as the executor of their will or the principal dies without a will and the agent then petitions to become administrator of their estate.) Change or transfer POA to someone else.
7 Warning Signs That Aging Parents Shouldn’t Live Alone — Without Support. The warning signs that your aging parents need help living alone can range from unexplained weight loss and changes in personal appearance to confusion, forgetfulness, and other qualities associated with memory illnesses like Dementia.
Once a parent is no longer competent, he or she cannot revoke the power of attorney . If the agent is acting improperly, family members can file a petition in court challenging the agent.
If your parent is already mentally incapacitated but hasn’t granted Power of Attorney to you in a Living Will, you’ll need to go before a judge to obtain conservatorship (or an adult guardianship). A conservatorship will grant you the right to make medical and financial decisions on your parent’s behalf.
The caregiver or another individual (called the petitioner) files a petition to declare the incompetency of the person with dementia to the Superior Court clerk for the county.