Legal Question in Elder Law in Alabama

Having a parent declared incompetent

How do I go about having my 63 year old Father declared incompetent? He has declared bankruptcy and will lose both his car and his home. He had a major aschemic stroke about a month ago and is ready to be released from the rehabilitation hospital. He needs 24 hour care as his left side is paralyzed. His mind seems okay until he starts talking about going home. This is impossible. What do I do in this situation. I can only do a certain amount to help him and feel he needs to be in a home of some kind where he can get the care he needs. He does not agree. What do I do? I am the ex-wife asking this quextion on behalf of my son who works long hours and asked me to help him out in finding information on this. Thank you for your assistance.

Asked on 4/11/08, 11:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Ronald Holtsford Ronald A. Holtsford, LLC

Re: Having a parent declared incompetent

Contact a local attorney that specializes in elder law. He may well be Medicaid eligible for nursing home care which may be what he needs if he needs 24 hr care. Your son may inquire of the elder law attorney about gaining a durable power of attorney for his father- if his father is agreeable to this. I think this will be more cost effective than going to probate court to have him declared incompetent, especially since you say "his mind seems OK . . . ". Even if your son gains guardianship over him and the cost connected with that court hearing, he would probably need to seek Medicaid assistance for his long term care. A durable power of attorney, if his Dad understands what it is and wants your son to act in that capacity, is less expensive that a hearing in court for incompetency. Then he can proceed to the care issue, probably Medicaid application for nursing home care based on what you have said about his financial situation.

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Answered on 4/13/08, 12:11 am

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