Can a financially dependent adult act on a parent’s behalf if that parent is not mentally well?

UPDATED: May 30, 2011

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Can a financially dependent adult act on a parent’s behalf if that parent is not mentally well?

Long story short, I am convinced my mother is delusional. She has no official diagnosis, but believe me, she suffers from delusions, and they’re now going to hurt my 13 year old brother in the form of a false rape accusation. She actually thinks he raped our younger sister, and this is not true. I’m afraid of where this accusation might go. I am her 19 year old daughter. In MA, do I have the right to force her to see a psychiatrist? My father probably could, but I doubt he would. I am financially dependent on my parents (my father is the sole breadwinner of the family, not mom).

Asked on May 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that you are in this position and I applaud you for taking the position that you intend to help your siblings.  What you are claiming is that your mother in mentally incompetent and you wish to be appointed her conservator to act on her behalf.  You are over 18 and considered an adult child even if you are financially dependent on your parents (perhaps you are in school?).  I do not want to deter you in this endeavor but you may be stonewalled by your Dad.  But just getting the process started and the issue out there can help tremendously.  If your Father will not help then see if another family member will.  And if they will not help with your Mom ask - no beg - someone  to help your brother and step in.  Good luck.

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