If a person has been certified mentally ill what legal rights do they have when it comes to owning property and conducting day to day business matters?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a person has been certified mentally ill what legal rights do they have when it comes to owning property and conducting day to day business matters?

My husband has dissisociative identity disorder formerly known as split personality. He has moved in another home that belongs to him. He is making very unwise decisions and abusing drugs with his grown sons. What can I do to protect him and the property. He will not agree to a voluntary conservorship. He has been certified mentally ill.

Asked on May 18, 2019 under Family Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Having a mental illness is not the same thing as being legally incompetent: there are milliions of Americans with varying degrees or types of mental illness (PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) who are stlll legally competent and thus able to manage or control their own affairs. The key is: 1) is the person unable to understand what they are doing, and/or unable to control their own actions to any appreciable degree; and 2) has a court, based on medical evidence of the above, declared them incompetent. Until and unless a person is found to be mentally incompetent by a court and a legal guardian or conservator appointed for him, he is competent (basically, competent until proven incompetent). You should speak with an attorney who works with those with mental illnesss or the disabled about the possibility of having your husband declared incompetent and having yourself appointed his guardian.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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