How do I obtain power of attorney for a parent who is incapacitated?

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How do I obtain power of attorney for a parent who is incapacitated?

My father fell sick 6 weeks ago. Since then he has become incapcitated and we placed him into hospice. we cannot find a Will. How do I get power of attorney so that I can handle his affairs before he passes?

Asked on February 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he is still mentally competent and can communicate his desire to sign a power of attorney (even if he can't personally sign), he can execute a power of attorney. Hire a trusts and estates attorney to help you: the lawyer can draft the agreement and make sure it signed and witnessed properly.
However, if he is either not mentally competent or wholly uncommunicative, he cannot grant a power of attorney: for a POA, it is necessary that the person be sound mentally and be able communicate their agreement or consent to the POA. In this case, you'd have to bring a legal action to have him declared incompetent by a court and have someone appointed his guardian. This is not an easy action to bring; speak to an elder law attorney about helping you.


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