How would we go about getting custody over our elderly aunt, who is physically disabled but mentally competent and has no one else to look after her and her resources?
Answer: If your elderly Aunt is mentally competent and is willing to have you look after her, she can execute a General Durable Power of Attorney which names you as her agent. She can also execute an advance directive for her health care. Her physical incapacity does not equate to a mental incapacity. The power of attorney would help you assist with her finances and to look after her and her resources. The key here is that she must be willing to let you assist her with her needs. If she is not willing and is physically unable to take care of herself you may petition the court to take custody and become guardian of the person if she is unable to physically take care of herself. Someone who has capacity is presumed to have the ability to take care of their own finances.
James J. Ruggiero, Jr., Esq., AEP
Ruggiero Law Offices, LLC