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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I have an aunt that told the oncologist and the RN to

Customer Question

I have an aunt that told the oncologist and the RN to withhold the diagnosis of cancer and the stage of cancer from my grandmother who just passed away this past Thursday. My grandmother thought she was going to get better and had no clue that she was terminal. I found out yesterday that my aunt had mutiple death certificates made in order to collect on life insurance policies taken out on my grandmother. Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information, however, I am unclear as to what you think might have happened that was illegal. Can you clarify that? Do the life insurance policies name your aunt as the beneficiary? If not, is it you who are named?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I truly believe she wanted my grandmother to get so sick that she wouldn't be able to make informed decisions and my aunt would have to make them for her. My grandmother almost didn't leave any beneficiaries on anything because she thought she was going to recover from it. She also took her to mutiple doctors offices so my grandmother never knew what was wrong with her. I think she intentionally tried to confuse her. She never told my uncle or my dad (her siblings) any of her medical info when they asked either. I live in Florida and came up when I found out she was sick and took her to radiation appts for a week. And she still at that point didn't know she had cancer. I found out the stage of the cancer from the nurse myself and told my family. That's when they found out. I didn't know if there was anything I could about her lieing to everyone and to her own mother about the condition. She was trying to benefit from it. As for the life insurance policies, those were taken out after the first MRI was taken, which I thought was insurance fraud.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

I am going to have to leave my office right now, and won't be back for a while, so I will have to opt out of your question. Someone will let you know when they have your answer.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR and your previous contributor left.

If your aunt did not want the doctor to tell your grandmother about the diagnosis the doctor could not have legally withheld it unless the doctor had medical basis to believe that giving her the diagnosis would have made her worse or your aunt was her power of attorney. But it is not illegal. Your aunt using her personal confidential relationship with your grandmother could be something that could be worth pursuing if you can prove your aunt used that relationship to get your grandmother to change beneficiaries or her will to your aunt's benefit and in that case you can file a probate contest against the aunt and you could sue her in court for breach of her fiduciary duty and undue influence if you can prove that was what she had done.

You would require a local probate attorney to pursue her on this matter if you choose to take that option.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No she was not the POA, my grandmother was still of sound mind when she passed. I spoke with the nurse and the nurse said her and the doctor found it ethically wrong to withhold the info, but they still did so. They assumed that my aunt did have POA for my grandmother since she was the original person that took her the doctors office in the beginning of this ordeal.How would or could I prove that she changed anything? I never saw the original will or knew who my grandmother left things to. It's a complicated situation.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Then you also have a potential suit for malpractice against the doctor in addition to suing your aunt for her breaching her fiduciary duty and using undue influence against your grandmother to secure personal gain and benefit.
Proving what your aunt did is going to require digging into documents through subpoenas if you have no evidence already, and it is not going to be easy, but you need to do your investigation into your grandmother's affairs if you want to prove the case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice/info.Would it be the same probate attorney for both matters?
Also, If I get the attorney, would they or the court issue a subpoena to dig into the medical records and documents of my grandmother?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Initially it would be the same attorney who objects to the probate and pursues your share of the estate and get all the medical records too, but once the medical documentation is found, they would need to get a medical malpractice attorney involved if they find negligence.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I found out today that the hospice nurse who was taking care of my grandmother went on vacation the day she passed away. My aunt started giving her oral morphine (0.05 mg every hour) as well as Oxycodone (not sure of dosage or rate) at 1300 that day and by 2200 my grandmother passed away. So now my suspicions are even higher that something else happened to her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do recommend any lawyers in Virginia, since this is where is took place. I currently live in Florida and I'm not sure if I can get a lawyer from here to represent a case in Virginia.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the delay as I got tied up in a client negotiation and could not get away to get back on line.
You need an attorney in VA where this happened. Also, if you have that evidence it needs to be turned over to the police and commonwealth attorney for review to determine if a crime occurred.