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Determination of Incapacity

Determining the Capacity to Manage One's Affairs

Some people, by reason of Alzheimer's, dementia, mental illness, chemical dependency or physical infirmities, are clearly not able to care for themselves. Others may have lucid moments yet suffer periodic lapses in sanity or self-awareness. Still others may experience a temporary period of incapacity but after a while may be able to resume responsibility for their own affairs.

Florida's Baker Act and other applicable laws define how and under what circumstances a person can be declared incapacitated or involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. These laws are complex, and very strict criteria must be met in order to involuntary commitment someone to a psychiatric hospital.

Law Offices of Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A. represents family members and interested parties who which to secure the involuntary commitment of a loved one or establish a guardianship. We also represent clients who wish to avoid involuntary commitment or being placed in guardianship.

Call us at (305) 742-0066 or send an e-mail to arrange for a free consultation. An attorney at our firm can discuss your situation and how we could help you achieve your objectives.

Involuntary Commitment under the Baker Act

In determining incapacity, the Court takes its responsibilities very seriously. In cases involving alleged mental incompetence, it demands answers to numerous probing questions regarding the ability of a person to manage his or her affairs. These include questions regarding the person's self-awareness, their ability to attend to daily living activities, and to manage their finances.

In cases where a person shows behavior that indicates that he or she could be a danger to themselves or the public, the person is taken to a receiving facility. At that point a determination is made whether the person should be subject to involuntary inpatient treatment . If the person does not meet the criteria for these treatments, the person must be discharged. A family member or concerned individual may also file an ex parte petition for involuntary inpatient treatment. The Court then examines the facts and issues its decision based upon the circumstances of the case.

Involuntary Assessment and Placement Under the Marchman Act

Cases involving alcohol and drug abuse are governed by the Marchman Act. These statutes lay out the procedure and criteria which the Court uses to determine incapacity due to substance abuse.

Law Offices of Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A. has many years of experience in cases involving mental incompetence, alcoholism, drug abuse, nervous breakdowns, and other forms of dementia. We understand the criteria by which the Court determines incapacity. We will work to achieve your goals with diligence and compassion.

For a free initial consultation with Law Offices of Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A. call (305) 742-0066 or send us an e-mail. Located in Miami, Law Offices of Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A. serves clients throughout South Florida in estate planning, administration, and litigation matters.

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Law Offices of Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A.
19 West Flagler Street, Suite 720
Miami, FL 33130

Phone: (305) 742-0066
Fax: (305) 358-1773
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