How do I obtain power of attorney for a parent who is incapacitated?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I obtain power of attorney for a parent who is incapacitated?

My father fell sick 6 weeks ago. Since then he has become incapcitated and we placed him into hospice. we cannot find a Will. How do I get power of attorney so that I can handle his affairs before he passes?

Asked on February 25, 2018 under Estate Planning, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he is still mentally competent and can communicate his desire to sign a power of attorney (even if he can't personally sign), he can execute a power of attorney. Hire a trusts and estates attorney to help you: the lawyer can draft the agreement and make sure it signed and witnessed properly.
However, if he is either not mentally competent or wholly uncommunicative, he cannot grant a power of attorney: for a POA, it is necessary that the person be sound mentally and be able communicate their agreement or consent to the POA. In this case, you'd have to bring a legal action to have him declared incompetent by a court and have someone appointed his guardian. This is not an easy action to bring; speak to an elder law attorney about helping you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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