Legal Question in Elder Law in New York

If a person is declared incompetent by a psychiatrist can his power of attorney sign for medical procedures?

Asked on 10/20/17, 7:13 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

I know it sounds unusual, but a psychiatrist does not have the authority under law to "declare a person incompetent." Only a judge can make a finding that a person is "incapacitated." A psychiatrist is a doctor, and is qualified to make a medical diagnosis such as bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia or depression, etc. etc. etc. Whether or not a person diagnosed by a doctor as having one or more mental impairments can manage their own medical (or financial) affairs is a legal determination which can only be made by a judge after a hearing (similar to a trial) in a courtroom.

Hope that helps.

Read more
Answered on 10/22/17, 2:29 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Elder Law questions and answers in New York