(noun): any person who for any cause is incapable adequately to protect his or her rights, including a person for whom a guardian has been appointed pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (SCPA § 103 [25])
Plain English translation: a person who lacks the ability to protect himself
Reasons why an individual may be found incapable of adequately looking after his rights include:
1. Advanced age;
2. Illness;
3. Infirmity;
4. Mental weakness;
5. Alcohol abuse;
6. Addiction to drugs; or
7. Any other cause.
Example: Charles suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease and cannot protect his rights. Since he is incapacitated, he needs someone else to represent his legal interests.

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Daniel R. Antonelli
Representing trust & estate clients with an emphasis on estate litigation in the New York City Metro Area.