Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Incompetency Definition:

An individual who has a significant risk of personal harm based upon an inability to adequately provide for nutrition, health, housing, or physical safety.

Related Terms: Incapacitated, Mental Disorder, Mentally Retarded, Mentally Ill, Dementia

Used, in the alternative, to incapacitated.

An example is §29-3-1-7.5 of the Indiana Code (2010):

"Incapacitated person means an individual who ... is unable to manage in whole or in part the individual's property, to provide self-care, or both, because of insanity, mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness, infirmity, habitual drunkenness, excessive use of drugs, incarceration, confinement, detention, duress, fraud, undue influence of others on the individual, or other incapacity; or has a developmental disability."

At §11.88.010(1) of Title 11 of the Revised Code of Washington (Probate and Trust Law):

For purposes of this chapter, a person may be deemed incapacitated as to person when the superior court determines the individual has a significant risk of personal harm based upon a demonstrated inability to adequately provide for nutrition, health, housing, or physical safety.

For purposes of this chapter, a person may be deemed incapacitated as to the person's estate when the superior court determines the individual is at significant risk of financial harm based upon a demonstrated inability to adequately manage property or financial affairs.

A determination of incapacity is a legal not a medical decision, based upon a demonstration of management insufficiencies over time in the area of person or estate. Age, eccentricity, poverty, or medical diagnosis alone shall not be sufficient to justify a finding of incapacity.

A person may also be determined incapacitated if he or she is under the age of majority ....

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