Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Legal Incapacity 101: What It’s, Causes, How It’s Declared, and What to Do Next

If you’ve ever seen a close friend or family member age into senior, you might have realized that, sometimes, they don’t look as mentally stable as they used to. Declining mentally is an unfortunate but natural aging event and often presents many challenges as they need to continue attending to the daily realities of life.

If that situation becomes more advanced, seniors mightn’t be able to handle their affairs. In such cases, a court-appointed person or concerned relative might need to step in to serve as a guardian, and the senior will be declared incapacitated legally.

What Legal Incapacity Is

The definition of legal incapacitated refers to the legal situation where a particular subject cannot govern their properties due to their sensory, physical, or mental situation. This makes it important that another individual, through a legal defender, curator, or guardian, look after their obligations, rights, and situation.

Anyone, whether spouse or family member, can be a representative of the disabled individual and exercise their rights under the regime of the legal defender, guardianship, or curatorship. But that power doesn’t include acts that are judicially regarded as personal. A perfect example is granting a will in which no one can represent an incapacitated individual.

What Causes Incapacity?

Don’t confuse physical health issues with incapacity. You may have physical health issues and still be able to make your own choices.

Here are examples of events or conditions that may result in an individual’s incapacity:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Stroke
  • Head trauma
  • Intellectual disability

How is One Declared Incapacitated?

Usually, the court goes through a process before it declares an individual incapacitated. But first, you will need to consider applying in the local courtroom, presenting a doctor’s letter to show that a person is incapacitated, and then attending the court proceedings/hearing.

The judge will decide in the courtroom if the affected person requires a guardian. The appointed guardian will take full legal responsibility for the affected person.

In most situations, if a person names an Agent through a Durable Power of Attorney document, they will be legally liable for all the responsibilities in the agreement form. This can only happen after a licensed and authorized doctor certifies an individual as incapacitated.

What to Do Next

Of course, legal incapacity can frustrate anyone. It would be hard to hand over independence and responsibility because of something you might have never seen coming. No one would want to hand over the capability to manage legal matters or finances.

The court comes with the decision of declaring who is legally incapacitated. A medical staff can submit an option on a person in question after conducting several evaluations and tests. Then, the courtroom will look over those options.

Act now so you can guide the person who will take care of the latter if you get incapacitated. Your choices and preferences will then be considered. You can make a protection obligation by having a person you trust to look after your daily personal care, property, and finances.

Comments are closed.