How can I get power of attorney for someone who is currently unable to communicate

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How can I get power of attorney for someone who is currently unable to communicate

My sibling is currently hospitalized and cannot communicate. I wanted to be able to conduct business on his behalf. What steps do I need to take.

Asked on December 15, 2016 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he or she is stil mentally competent and can either sign (even if he can't speak) or at least clearly and unequivocally direct someone to sign on his behalf, you can create and he can sign a power of attorney making you his agent or attorney-in-fact (either term can be used). It must be signed in front of two witnesses, neither of which is you, who also sign it, as well as be notarized.
If he is not mentally competent or can't communicate to at least the minimum degree indicated above, he can't create or give you a power of attorney: you must be competent and be able to indicate your agreement to the POA. Your only option then may be to bring a legal action to have him declared incompetet and yourself appointed as legal guardian or conservator (both terms are used). To explore this option, consult with an attorney.


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