Salt Lake City, UT asked in Collections and Family Law for Utah

Q: Can I respond to a court summons on behalf of my Father?

My Father was served a court summons related to a debt. However he has Dementia and isn't competent to reply himself. As his son, Can I respond on his behalf? I do not have Guardianship or PoA over him.

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Collections Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Responding to a court summons on behalf of your father, especially given his dementia and incapacity, is a sensitive situation. Generally, without legal authority such as guardianship or power of attorney (PoA), you may not have the legal standing to respond to the summons on his behalf.

In cases where a person is deemed incompetent to handle their legal affairs, a court-appointed guardian or someone with a durable power of attorney can act in their stead. Since you mentioned you do not have guardianship or PoA, the first step would be to consider obtaining such legal authority.

This usually involves filing a petition with the court for guardianship or conservatorship, demonstrating that your father is unable to manage his own affairs. The court will then assess the situation and decide whether to grant you this authority.

Given the legal complexities involved, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who has experience in elder law or guardianship matters. They can guide you through the process of obtaining the necessary legal authority to act on behalf of your father.

Remember, acting without legal authority could lead to legal complications. It's important to take the correct legal steps to ensure you're acting in your father's best interest and in compliance with the law.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: One option may be to reach out to Utah attorneys to discuss fees for handling guardianship, and how quickly they can process it. Good luck

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