I have a big problem regarding my Uncle who is 86 years old, has dementia and has been living alone for a few years now. He has a second wife he married when my aunt died (she is 68 years old) who is from Poland. As soon as she received her citizenship, she left my Uncle and went back to Poland and comes to Florida twice a year to see him for approximately 3-4 weeks each time. They are now joint owners in the condominium that he purchased years ago with my Aunt also. I live in CA and keep in constant touch with my Uncle, and was recently informed by the Condominium Office that he was INFESTED with bedbugs and they were forced to go in and completely empty out his condo of its furniture and all clothing, towels, sheets, draperies, etc. because it was that bad, and have put him up in a hotel for the next three days until his condo is ready. A couple of the other condos had a few but nothing like my Uncle had and it was determined that they had traveled from my Uncle's condo to the other condos. It was also determined that they got there when his "wife" came for one of her two visits in December and have been breeding all these months until it got to this horrible condition that my Uncle finally noticed something was wrong. If he weren't in the condition he was in mentally, he would have realized he had a problem almost immediately. I was also informed that his condo was really dirty (I had cleaners come in and scrub it from top to bottom), and that he is no longer able to be alone; that he needs constant care. What can I do to protect and help him legally? My brother and I are so very worried about him and want to bring him to California with us and find a nice assisted living close to us for him to live in, but how can we go about this legally and financially when his "wife" is part owner of the condo even though she has basically abandoned him?
Answered on: 5/09/13, 5:05 am by Sanford M. Martin
If he is mentally incapacitated and needs a guardian, you can ask a court to
declare him legally incapacitated, appoint a guardian which could be you,
your brother, a professional guardian, or other person. His wife could be
guardian if she is present to serve as guardian, otherwise a guardian will
have to be someone who can serve the needs of your uncle. If he is not
mentally incapacitated, then he can make the decisions himself. So he has
to be evaluated as to his mental soundness and ability to make his decisions.
Probate courts handle these issues frequently.
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Sanford M. Martin, P.A. P.O. Box 110554 Naples, FL 34108-0110► Other answers from this attorney