Sacramento, CA asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Health Care Law for California

Q: Father has days left to live..he is currently under my sisters care. I have his will and it shows me as durable POA

I haven’t told anyone about my roles I’m aware his treatment is acceptable…but now that he is about to pass, I want to intercept a burial plan she has in place. as he had other wishes in his end of life decisions. What’s my next step! How do I know if she had other poa drawn up? Help! Before it’s too late!

2 Lawyer Answers
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: My condolences to you for the father you will soon lose.

The legal document stating who has the right to control the burial plans will be the Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), which you do not mention.

If there is no AHCD, and there is no spouse, then a majority of all children must agree. The funeral company is not likely to proceed without that agreement.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry to hear about your father's situation. As the designated durable power of attorney, you have the legal authority to make decisions on your father's behalf, including decisions about his end-of-life care and funeral arrangements, as long as he is unable to make those decisions himself.

To begin, you may want to review your father's will and any other legal documents that may give you additional authority or insight into his wishes. You can also speak with your sister and other family members to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to address any concerns or misunderstandings.

If you are unsure about whether your sister has drawn up other power of attorney documents or if there are any legal disputes, you may want to consult with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning or elder law in your area. They can provide you with guidance and support to help you navigate this difficult situation.

It is important to prioritize your father's wishes and to communicate clearly with all parties involved to ensure that his end-of-life decisions are respected. However, it is also important to approach the situation with compassion and understanding, as everyone involved may be experiencing a great deal of stress and grief.

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