Petition court to appoint a guardian for grandparents due to their incompetency
Recently, I have asked my grandparents to sign documents (e.g. Philhealth) but they are unable: my grandfather is incapacitated and cannot grip the ballpen while my grandmother has a slight case of dementia that she signs by writing her maiden name (not her married name and signature). My question is can you give me advice if my mother, who is usually their administrator, to get an SPA? I am now foreseeing difficulties in future transactions especially in bank transactions. God bless and thank you in advance for your time and advice.Alou2011
Dear Alou2011,The problem with a Special Power of Attorney in this case is that such document also has to be signed by the principals, your grandparents. Hence, the same problem you encountered in asking them to sign Philhealth documents will crop up. There is, however, another way for your mother to be able to effectively administer the properties of your grandparents, considering that both are already weak, old and ailing. Your mother may file before the courts, the appropriate petition for the appointment of a general guardian for your grandparents due to incompetency.
According to the Rules of Court:“…(T)he word “incompetent” includes persons suffering the penalty of civil interdiction or who are hospitalized lepers, prodigals, deaf and dumb who are unable to read and write, those who are of unsound mind, even though they have lucid intervals, and persons not being of unsound mind, but by reason of age, disease, weak mind, and other similar causes, cannot, without outside aid, take care of themselves and manage their property, becoming thereby an easy prey for deceit and exploitation” (Rule 92, Section 2) (Emphasis supplied).
Under Rule 93, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, “(a)ny relative, friend, or other person on behalf of a resident xxx incompetent who has no parent or lawful guardian, xxx, may petition the court having jurisdiction for the appointment of a general guardian for the person or estate, or both, of such xxx incompetent. xxx”Furthermore, the person who seeks to obtain letters of guardianship from the court must first post a bond before said letters may be issued, conditioned on the following:“Section 1. Bond to be given before issuance of letters. Amount. Condition. —Before a guardian appointed enters upon the execution of his trust, or letters of guardianship issue, he shall give a bond, in such sum as the court directs, conditioned as follows:(a) To make and return to the court, within three (3) months, a true and complete inventory of all the estate, real and personal, of his ward which shall come to his possession or knowledge of any other person for him
(b) To faithfully execute the duties of his trust, to manage and dispose of the estate according to these rules for the best interests of the ward, and to provide for the proper care, custody, and education of the ward(c) To render a true and just account of all the estate of the ward in his hands, and of all proceeds or interest derived therefrom, and of the management and disposition of the same, at the time designated by these rules and such other times as the courts direct, and at the expiration of his trust to settle his accounts with the court and deliver and pay over all the estate, effects, and moneys remaining in his hands, or due from him on such settlement, to the person lawfully entitled thereto(d) To perform all orders of the court by him to be performed” (Rule 94, Section 1, Rules of Court).Finally, the guardian appointed and granted letters of guardianship by the court “… shall have the care and custody of the person of his ward, and the management of his estate, or the management of his estate only, as the case may be...” (Rule 96, Section 1, Rules of Court).Again, we find it necessary to mention that the foregoing discussion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.We hope that you were enlightened regarding this matter.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com."