If you can’t conduct business due to mental or physical incapacity (dementia, stroke, heart attack, etc.), and do not have a living trust or power of attorney, then only a court appointee can sign for you. A legal process will take place to appoint a guardian and/or conservator to manage your affairs. Once the court gets involved, it usually stays involved until you recover or pass away. The probate court, not your family, will control how your assets are used to care for you. This public probate process can be expensive, embarrassing, time consuming and difficult to end. In addition, it does not replace probate at death, so your family may have to go through probate court twice!