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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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My mother is a cat lady who can no longer care for herself.Her

Resolved Question:

My mother is a cat lady who can no longer care for herself.Her finances are in ruin and her house is a disaster. She lives in Oregon and is on Social Security and Medicare. Should I call the Health Dept first or just get a judge to commit her to a home? I would prefer the state step in because of a health risk and public nuisance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Do you have a power of attorney?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Your reply page is not working. I have replied twice. To summarize, no I do not have power of attorney. Her home is a health hazard> She cannot care for herself. She has no water, stove or fridge. Feces and urine everywhere.Health Services was called by neighbors but they were denied access to home. Can the state step in or do I need to get an emergency court order?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

Sorry, our website had a couple of problems earlier. You can file for a guardianship through the probate court and have the court declare her as mentally incompetent. I would think that, based on what you have told me, that this would not be very difficult to show. If the county services will not act your only option would be to file for a guardianship since you have no power of attorney.


Many counties have social service agencies that will assist in these types of situations so you may want to press them a bit further. Obviously they were denied access if you Mom doesn't want to cooperate but if she is putting herself in jeopardy by her living conditions I would think that the county health or social services department would agree to take action.


Those are really your only two choices if she refuses to accept assistance from you.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok thanks. Will try to get her to cooperate. We need to get her out of the house and into a home. Will have to get Animal Control involved, and the Health Dept to condemn the house. Follow-up question: was going to help her with bankruptcy proceedings but this takes precedence.Can her creditors garnish her social security if she is incompetent and in a care facility?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

Social Security will go directly to whatever facility she will be in and cannot be garnished. If she has no assets it probably is a waste of money to file a bankruptcy.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. One more thing, if I DO get power of attorney, can I be held liable for her debts?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

No, you cannot be liable for her debts unless you actually sign for the debt. If your Mom is mentally unstable it is doubtful she can eve give you a POA if she wants to.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Dave, you;ve been very helpful!
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

No problem and thanks for using our service. Good luck with your Mom - I know it can't be easy.