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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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Does he take a mental status test to declare incompetence in the state of Illinois Thank

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90 yr old Father in law with dementia. Unable to read or care for self.
Receiving 24 hr care. We are worried about him signing legal documents he can't understand. In the state of Illinois, how do you declare someone incompetent? Do you need his Doctor and Attorneys to test him , or just his Doctor. Would someone in his family become his POA and Health Care Surrogate? He may or may not have a will. Who do we contact? I have heard of the mini mental status assesment. Is that a similar tool they use.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Competency is a legal term and only a court can legally declare a person incompetent. If this needs to be done for your Father in Law's own sake, I would urge you to apply to the court to become his legal guardian. This will then rest his financial matters in your hands.

Until a court declares him incompetent, or assigns one of you as his legal guardian, anything he signs will have to be subject to argument at a later time--the distribution of his estate upon his death--and may well result in monetary loss to the estate.

I wish you well.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,


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