Both parents are incapable of taking care of themselves? What now?

Parents had strokes 13 months apart.
Still think they can make day to day
decisions. Father is impaired on left
side and has no sense of his own safety.
Mom is mentally not here. She will let
him try things to see if he can do it.
She is physically unable to help him.
Social workers at rehab tells me they
are both incompetent. What do I do now?
They have Wills and POA established but
Mom doesn’t want to give them up?

Asked on January 11, 2018 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action (i.e. a kind of lawsuit) to have them declared legally incompetent and to have a guardian (e.g. yourself) appointed to manage their affairs for them. There will have to be medical evidence (e.g. doctor reports, test results, and testimony) to prove their lack of competence. This is a complex acton to bring and it is NOT recommended that you try to do this yourself: if you wish to explore this course of action, consult with an elder law attorney.
Note that until and unless they are legally declared incompetent, they can manage their own affairs: only a legal declaration, and just their social workers' opinion, will take away their authority to manage their own lives and put someone else in charge of their finances and decision making.


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