How do I obtain legal guardianship of my father if he is incapable of caring for himself but who has someone else trying to get guardianship of him who does not have his best interests in mind?

My father is incapable of taking care of himself because he had a stroke. He has a wife who cannot take proper care of him since she has major drug issues. She wants me to sign documents asking me if I approve that she cares for him but I don’t want to. I would like to obtain guardianship. I need to know what can I legally do? I live in VA and he lives in NV; I want to bring him here to where I am and care for him.

Asked on May 3, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You would have to bring a legal action in chancery court in which you will prove, by medical evidence and testimony, that your father is incompetent, so that the court will declare him legally incompetent and appoint a guardian; you will also ask that the guardian be you and have to prove that his wife (who would normally get that role) is not capable of it. This could be a difficult, expensive suit, if the wife opposes it; you should consult with an elder law attorney in detail to better understand what is involved and what needs to be done.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You would have to bring a legal action in chancery court in which you will prove, by medical evidence and testimony, that your father is incompetent, so that the court will declare him legally incompetent and appoint a guardian; you will also ask that the guardian be you and have to prove that his wife (who would normally get that role) is not capable of it. This could be a difficult, expensive suit, if the wife opposes it; you should consult with an elder law attorney in detail to better understand what is involved and what needs to be done.


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