If we feel a person may be mentally incompetent is it best to have them declared mentally incompetent?

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Do we do it to protect ourselves financially from suspicious people? If a caregiver, shady sibling, etc. gets an elderly person to change a will, beneficiary, etc. and the elderly person doesn't realize the significance of what he/she is signing), would the person(s) whose money was "hijacked" have a good chance of recovering the money if the elderly person was NOT declared legally mentally incompetent at the time of the signing of the documents?

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You said, "may be mentally incompetent ". It is very difficult in most states to get guardianship over someone who is clearly incompetent much less a person who MAY be incompetent. If the elder is cooperative, which they usually are not, they can grant guardianship or power of attorney. You can check out lots of people's experiences with these issues on this site.
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Good answer so far, but does anyone else have knowledge on this subject? Thanks
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Only a Judge in Surrogate's court can really carry that out to the point of protecting someone from "suspicious people" by declaring the need for a Guardian and appointing one. HOWEVER that will not be retroactive, it would not affect past transactions. If you suspect elder financial abuse through "undue influence" a criminal complaint should be filed with the county she/he resides in.
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