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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
brid widder BS: Who is next of kin? (25) RE: BS: Who is next of kin? 09 Mar 04


Jane... I'm pleased to hear your Father in law is improving... if his step-son is acting as next of kin it may be because he has expressed a wish that that is the case... this is quite helpful.. Who is next of kin? I've been looking into this issue and apparently the phrase 'next of kin' is one not recognised by UK law. However the 'Nearest Relative' (and this would be your daughter)does have rights and responsibilities, if a patient is detained under the Mental Health act and the patient does not have a right to chose who is their nearest relative...

"The nearest relative of a patient detained under the Mental Health Act is determined by Section 26 of the Act. This provides a strict order of precedence to decide which relative is to exercise the role of nearest relative. Although the fact that the patient cannot chose his nearest relative has been confirmed by the Courts to breach the Human Rights Act, nevertheless the provisions of the Act are still in force."

John... well maybe 'ownership' is the wrong word but ....

"There can be no ownership of a dead body as such. However the personal representatives of the deceased have the right to possession of the dead person's body until it is disposed of. The persons entitled to legal possession are the administrator or executor of the deceased's estate. An executor is a person appointed by the deceased's will to deal with the deceased's estate. An administrator is a person appointed by the court for such purpose. If there is no executor it is arguable that the person first entitled to a grant of administration of the estate, should be entitled to determine how the body is disposed of. This is usually the nearest relative - or next of kin. These rights are however subject to the qualifications relating to the coroner's possession of a body.

The right to possession includes the right to disposal of the body. If there is an executor, he is entitled to determine the mode and place of disposal, although he must not spend more than a reasonable amount on funeral expenses without specific authority. The executor has the right for the body to be released into his possession - subject to the qualifications where the coroner is involved - and failure to release a body into the possession of the executor is an offence. If a person who is not entitled to do so, disposes of a body contrary to the intentions of those who do have the right to dispose of the body, they may be liable for damages....


Maggs... unless your mum is likely to be detained under the mental health act she should be able to nominate her chosen next of kin if she so wishes...no-one can overrule her decisions see the link above.... and discuss your fears with the nurses... or ask to speak to the social worker...


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