How to Have Someone Declared Incompetent in North Carolina

By Maria Lassen
A judge or jury will determine incompetency.

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Some people are not competent to handle their affairs and need guardians to act on their behalf. Adults who are incapable of making important decisions on their own and fully protecting their interests, due to circumstances such as age or disability, require the assistance of a guardian to protect and exercise their rights. Guardianship ensures that an incompetent individual is not taken advantage of by others and does not make poor decisions regarding personal and financial affairs. The law in North Carolina provides a simple process to petition to have someone declared incompetent.

Draft a petition for incompetency. Include your name, address, the county where you reside and your interest in the case. Your interest could be that you are requesting guardianship over a parent who is unable to handle his affairs. Also include the respondent's name, county of residence and address. The respondent is the person you want the court to declare incompetent.

State in your petition the facts and reasons you believe the respondent is incompetent and why you are seeking guardianship. You must also include the names of any individuals, such as the respondent's next of kin, who may have an interest in the case. List all of the respondent's property owned and other assets and financial liabilities. If the respondent was found incompentent in a different state, include this information in your petition as well.

File the petition for incompetency in the court of the county where the respondent resides. The sheriff will serve the respondent with the petition, and the clerk will schedule a hearing within 30 days of service. The respondent will have the right to retain an attorney and request a jury trial. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and call witnesses supporting your allegations of incompetency. The judge or jury will determine whether the respondent is competent.

About the Author

Maria Lassen has many years experience in the legal field. She was a practicing hair and nail technician for 10 years and has been a freelance writer since 2010. Lassen studied creative writing at Bowling Green State University and holds a certificate in paralegal studies.

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