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What is usually sufficient evidence in court to declare an elderly parent incompetent, to prove that guardianship is necessary?

Little Rock, AR |

Mother lives in Texas, I live in Arkansas. She has begun exhibiting risky behavior, has separated herself from friends of many years, and seems unwilling or unable to listen to reason. After speaking to a family therapist, I can see that she may be exhibiting signs of Alzheimers. The therapist is further alarmed by these other warning signs. I need to know from a legal standpoint what the court deems sufficient grounds for declaring incompetency and/or providing for guardianship. Some of Mother's behavior is really beginning to scare me - she is doing things that I warn my own children not to do. Am I being an alarmist? Or is this something that I need to pursue?

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Attorney answers 1


You will need to speak with an attorney in Texas, because that is where your mother lives.

For purpose of general information (Texas may very well be different, though there are probably similarities in the requirements), in Arkansas you would need to show that she is "impaired by reason of a disability such as mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness, chronic use of drugs, or chronic intoxication, to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate decisions to meet the essential requirements for his or her health or safety or to manage his or her estate." To meet your burden of proof, you will need an evaluation by a qualified professional -- usually an M.D.

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