If my dad has been in the hospital for over a month and is currently incoherent, do I have any options to get access to his finances in order to pay his bills??

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If my dad has been in the hospital for over a month and is currently incoherent, do I have any options to get access to his finances in order to pay his bills??

He did not attach my name to any of his bank accounts and I am not able to get access to his accounts to pay his rent or other bills. I cannot get a power of attorney signed because he is not of clear mind.

Asked on June 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need to go to court (chancery or surrogates court) and file a legal action to have your father declared incompetent and you appointed as his guardian. You will obvously need medical testimony and evidence to do this (e.g. doctor's tests and diagnoses). You are advised to consult with an elder law attorney and let the lawyer help you. The lawyer can file the action on an "emergent" (think "urgent" or "emergency") basis to get it heard faster, given the need to access his accounts, etc.


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