father was put on hospice

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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father was put on hospice

I am the oldest in my family of 3. I found out that my sister said she was the power of sessions to his medical dessions making. She is on phy meds and go to main meds clinic, I fill she should not make a life or death decisions but she can not produce a living Will or a legal documents letter. What is my next step in this matter?

Asked on June 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, the fact that your father is in a hospice does not automatically mean anyone else has the power to make decisions for him; if he is still mentally competent and can communicate his wishes, he can make his own medical decisions.
If he's not mentally competent, than someone needs to make decisions for him. That can be done by a living will/advance directive/medical POA (it goes by various names), but anyone claiming to have that power must be able to produce it in order to prove they have that power.
If there is no locatable or provable living will, etc., then someone must be declared his legal guardian (since there are three children, it doesn't automatically devolve to the "next of kin" since you are all equally next of kin; ergo, there must be a determination of who has the power). There are court procedures for this, but they are not simple (i.e. much more complicated than, say, representing yourself in small claims court); you should consult with an elder law attorney about next steps and getting this done, if necessary.

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