If a person has been certified mentally ill what legal rights do they have when it comes to owning property and conducting day to day business matters?

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If a person has been certified mentally ill what legal rights do they have when it comes to owning property and conducting day to day business matters?

My husband has dissisociative identity disorder formerly known as split personality. He has moved in another home that belongs to him. He is making very unwise decisions and abusing drugs with his grown sons. What can I do to protect him and the property. He will not agree to a voluntary conservorship. He has been certified mentally ill.

Asked on May 18, 2019 under Family Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Having a mental illness is not the same thing as being legally incompetent: there are milliions of Americans with varying degrees or types of mental illness (PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) who are stlll legally competent and thus able to manage or control their own affairs. The key is: 1) is the person unable to understand what they are doing, and/or unable to control their own actions to any appreciable degree; and 2) has a court, based on medical evidence of the above, declared them incompetent. Until and unless a person is found to be mentally incompetent by a court and a legal guardian or conservator appointed for him, he is competent (basically, competent until proven incompetent). You should speak with an attorney who works with those with mental illnesss or the disabled about the possibility of having your husband declared incompetent and having yourself appointed his guardian.


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