In Virginia how does one obtain power of attorney for a person with dementia

He is unable to write his own name and is currently living with a
relative. We struggle to get his affairs straight but are limited by
legal red tape.
Do we need to take this to court and have them give us the power of
attorney or does he have to consent

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he is mentally incompetent, as he may well be due to dementia, he cannot grant anyone a POA; only a mentally competent person can do so. (That's why people should set up POAs in advance of actually needing them.) You may have to go to court to have the court officially declare him incompetent and appoint a legal guardian to manage his affairs. To discuss this option (as well as whether, based on this condition, he is in fact incompetent now), consult with an elder law attorney about the specifics of the situation.

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