Q: Question about a family member who is hospitalized
My brother is hospitalized after having a stroke, he not able to communicate well but for hospital aid and benefits we need to access thinks like bank statements and pay stubs. They haven’t been given to us at the bank or his job. Is there some legal paper we can get to be able to access that on his behalf?
A: If he hasn't appointed anyone to hold his power of attorney for health care, you'll need to make an appointment with a lawyer to file papers in court to create a guardianship for a disabled adult. From what you describe, this should be done as quickly as possible.
A: Generally, when an individual is under a disability like this one, if a power of attorney was executed by your brother, this incapacity would permit the holder of the power of attorney to act on his behalf. In the absence of a power of attorney, the hospital may be able to assist you by providing medical proof of your brother's incapacity. If you cannot make health care decisions for yourself, a health care "surrogate" may be chosen for you. Under Illinois law, two doctors must certify that you cannot make health care decisions for yourself before a health care surrogate can be appointed.
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