For Newsletters, Press Releases, Updates and More: Stay In-Touch

Don't have a login: Register


Home » Problems with Current Law » Getting Someone Declared Incompetent …

Getting Someone Declared Incompetent …
If someone wants to get you declared incompetent, to take over your estate, the reality is, that most likely, they will eventually succeed. According to Dr. Diane G. Armstrong, author of The Retirement Nightmare, 94% of such cases are lost by the person being accused of being incompetent [online reference found at or just see for general information].
Why is this true?
1) The use of “False Logic” (Logical Errors) makes it virtually impossible for the defendant to win
One of the basics principles derived from the study of logic is that you cannot disprove a negative (without exhaustively covering all components of the implied space under consideration; which in the real world is impossible). [For a few quick examples that demonstrate this truth, click here.]
Thus, when an incompetency hearing is convened, the goal of the accusers is to create the above impossible situation for the person being accused. That is, force the person being accused into trying to prove that they are NOT incompetent; it cannot be done.
For incompetency hearings, it is NOT the job of the accusers to show with overwhelming evidence that the accused is incompetent. Rather, in general, the word of the accusers may be taken at face value. They are most likely relatives, neighbors, or people that are supposedly close to the accused. It is assumed that these people would not be accusing someone of being incompetent unless that person really was incompetent.
As for the person being accused, it is possible that no substantive defense will be offered, or even allowed by the Judge. In other aspects of US Law, a defendant does not have to prove their innocence — the accusers must prove guilt. In Probate court, the effective operating principles are that the accused must prove they are NOT incompetent, and their silence is used to assume their guilt (that indeed they are incompetent and not contesting the matter)
If the person does try to defend themselves, well, we already know from a study of logic, that it will NOT be possible for them prove that they are NOT incompetent. They will only be able to offer alternative explanations for various events. If these explanations make sense, then all they have done is refute that one situation — at which point another issue can be raised. Eventually, at some point, an explanation will not make intuitive sense to someone (i.e., the Judge) who was not there at the time, and that will be proof enough that this elderly person is incompetent.
2) Drug-up the accused so they cannot defend themselves
This might sound like collusion would be required. NOT SO! Yes, I am certain there are cases where collusion occurs. Rather, I will assert that in most cases, the lack of communication between doctors and staff, and the natural tendency of people in a large organization to not do complete due-diligence (i.e., trust that somebody else must have done it), actually creates what will look like a collusive effort against the elderly person.
While I am sure there could be many approaches, one way to being this process is by suggesting the elderly person might have the subtle early stages of dementia. The great part of this diagnosis is:

  • The subjective nature of the diagnosis — no one can ever accuse the doctor of being wrong, because it is subjective
  • The expected nature of the diagnosis — most people in society as a whole expect that at some point elderly people will show some signs of senility (subtle signs of dementia), so no one will question the diagnosis … rather most people would question the lack of such a diagnosis
  • Most people have at least some of the symptoms for this diagnosis, so it is just a matter of finding the symptoms.
Rest Homes are motivated to support the diagnosis of dementia, because the drugs used to treat dementia tend to sedate the patients and make them easier to handle.
Prescribing drugs for dementia create a Catch-22 type of logic supporting the diagnosis of dementia:

  • If the person being treated can hold it together even though they are drugged up, this will be used as proof that the drugs are effectively treating the dementia
  • If the person shows signs of being sedated by the drugs (think of it as being made a bit tipsy), say, they are even more forgetful, disoriented, or become more confused by their surrounds and agitatedly express a desire to go home — this is proof that the person has dementia and needs more drugs.
[For a high-level anatomy on “How to give someone a case of dementia” click here.]
The Bottom Line: If someone wishes to have an elderly person declared incompetent, with a little work, it can be easily done. Defending yourself against such an accusation, especially as you get older, under the way current Probate courts are allowed to operate, accompanied by the way Rest Homes can so easily drug-up the elderly against their will, makes defense against such accusations almost impossible. That is why we assert the laws in this field need to change.
© 2010 HELPSES, Inc Click here for Printer Friendly Version