Please explain the difference between incapacitated and incompetent and whether this needs to go to court?

Asked about 4 years ago - Crown Point, IN

If 2 doctors (one is a Psychiatrist) have declared a person unable to manage his own affairs or make or communicate important decisions concerning his own person and/or property-can a hospital allow that person to sign consents for treatment, procedures, skilled care placement, etc? Or, does this need to go to court and have the person "legally" declared incompetent?

Additional information

The doctors have said this person has Alzheimer's Disease and there have been no periods of lucidity noticed by anyone.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . This person is not legally competent to sign any documents. If he has previously signed a durable power of attorney or a living will, then the holder can act for him. If not you must petition the court to have a conservator or guardian named.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thanks.
    LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in the state of Pennsylvania. He phone number is 215-735-2336 and his email address is listed below.
    Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
    By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.
    Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

22,287 answers this week

2,815 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

22,287 answers this week

2,815 attorneys answering