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My father is 80. He has had 2 strokes and lives in his own house. He does fairly well with doing the cooking and cleaning but it's his finances. I had to be put on his checkbook to pay his bills for him. He spends money he doesn't have and doesn't tell me. Now he's trying to get a reverse mortgage behind my back. Which I have heard horror stories about. I don't want him to lose everything. Not the house so much just everything that's been in our family for generations. My mother passed away about a year ago and she took care of all the finances he's never had to. Please, does anyone have any suggestions? He will not discuss anything. He gets very mad when we try to talk to him about it.

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sbopie, your father can be "found" incompetent by his doctor for not much out-of-pocket (his medical insurance will pay some, most or all), but it could be tricky to get his doctor to test him unless you have POA for health care or your dad is cooperative. If you have his financial and health care POA already, or if you have his POA contingent upon him being found incompetent by one or more doctors, then that's probably all you'll need to protect him.

But if you don't have his financial and health care POA and want him to be found legally incompetent by a guardianship and/or conservatorship court, that will cost a lot more -- the $10k-$12k previously cited is a good estimate, but could be even higher if any relatives contest. (It could also be a lot less if you find the right attorney to assist you and no one contests.) The court will require that your father be evaluated by a doctor, so getting his doctor's evaluation before filing for guardianship won't be a wasted step. If your father's income and assets (other than his house) are minimal, then you may be able to get nearly free legal assistance from Legal Aid in your state and/or through the guardianship court.  Good luck.
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FWIW - I was told by an attorney that it would cost $10-$12,000 and could take 3-6 months for my father to be declared incompetent. There are legal fees and court costs involved, and a temporary guardian may have to be named. That person is often a retired attorney, and charges a fee as well.
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