Can a person who has been given Power of Attorney keep family members and/or friends from visiting the patient?

Social Workers and nurses continue to reach out to us and ask us about important issues they face with their patients and family members thereof.  Following are a couple of examples:

A family member who refused to let other family members visit their mom in hospice because the power of attorney (oldest sister) claimed their visits were negatively impacting the health and well-being of their mother.  The question was then posed: Can a person who has been given Power of Attorney keep family members and/or friends from visiting the patient? The answer lies in determining what is in the person’s best interest.  When it comes to their health, this decision could mean keeping certain family members or friends away. On the other hand, one has to be careful that the Agent is not simply trying to punish other family members by keeping them away from mom or dad.

The second question we received was related to funeral arrangements. Can the appointed Power of Attorney control the decisions of funeral arrangements?  Social Workers are finding that the Agent under a Health Care Powers of Attorney (“HCPOA”) are not letting family make decisions about funeral arrangements claiming they are the only one allowed to make those decisions pursuant to the HCPOA. The HCPOA does not work because once the Principal dies, the HCPOA terminates.  Nevada permits a person to designate an individual to make funeral arrangements for him or her in a written statement which is dated and signed by the Decedent.  The person’s signature must be notarized and the designated person must be older than 18.  NRS 451.024.  In the absence of such a document, authority rests with persons in the following order: Surviving Spouse, Adult Child, Parent, Adult Sibling, Grandparent, or Guardian.

We welcome your questions and also want to remind you and the families you serve that we offer an array of legal services related to Elder Law:

We’re here to help!  Call our caring Elder Law Attorneys today at 702-798-4955.

 

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