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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 15761
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My mother is 93 yrs old,in the hospital and in comfort care.

Customer Question

My mother is 93 yrs old,in the hospital and in comfort care . I do not have power of attorney, so the doctor has chosen my eldest sister to make decisions about her medical care. I am 60 yrs. old and have 4 sisters,my father is deceased. I have been my mother's care taker along with one other sister since 1998, and my mother has lived with me and one of my younger sisters all that time. she is a member of my household through many illnesses ,including cancer. I , provided round the clock care , and my oldest sister never participated in her care. She is now at the hospital making the decisions. The doctor says that in New Jersey the eldest daughter/son makes the decision, if there is no power of attorney.Do I have any rights to make decisions about her health?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Traditionally speaking a doctor will look to the "next of kin" to make decisions regarding health care provisions. The eldest child would be the next of kin (assuming no living spouse). Note that this is not a legal distinction, in that the doctor does not have to do this. But there's nothing that says that the doctor has to take into your wishes or direction either (without a power of attorney or guardianship). I assume that she's no longer competent to make a power of attorney to give you this authority. If she is competent and able to understand the nature of her actions, she can still give you the power of attorney to handle these matters. If she's not competent, the only way to force the doctor to even consider or take direction from you, rather than your sister, is to get a guardianship over your mother. And to get a guardianship requires that you go to court, petition the court to be named as guardian, and actually be named guardian. Now it's more likely that the court would grant this to you if you had a closer, more trusting relationship with her than your sister, and if the court feels that the best interests of your mother would be represented by you in this role, it would almost certainly grant it to you. But you would still have to apply.

That being said, you need to contact an attorney in your area that deals with elder law / guardianship cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in your area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in your area, and what you should do next.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response or rating... (please note that rating closes this question out, so if there's nothing else, please rate it so that I can assist other customers that are waiting for answers to their questions)

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Hello?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it 3 or more stars (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service positively. It's only after you rate that I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Were you able to see my answer? I have not heard from you in some time, and I'm worried that there might have been a technical issue. Please respond to let me know that you received the answer.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

Hello?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

▼ RATING REQUIRED! ▼ Please don't forget to Rate my service as OK Service or higher. It's only then I am credited.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 12 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!