How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi, my older sister has a serious lifelong psychiatric disorder

Customer Question

Hi, my older sister has a serious lifelong psychiatric disorder and has recently been sectioned yet again. I've been told I am now her 'nearest relative'. Can I tell them I don't want to be put down as that - there is no one else, so what will they do instead? Am I legally required to be responsible for her after discharge when she'll need a lot of monitoring and support. After discharge she will be on her own for the first time (our parents have died and her husband has left her). I don't want anything to do with her care or her affairs. Can I say that and insist on it? Thank you. Hilary.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

There is no way around being her nearest relative. She is free to make that disclosure and cannot be prevented from doing so. It would seem that you are her nearest relative so its accurate.

However, you don't have any obligation to be involved in her affairs. Being her nearest relative does not confer any obligations upon you. Thats probably your biggest concern and its nothing for you to worry about. The authorities might approach you and ask you to assist but if you refuse there is no way of forcing you to do so.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. That's what I wanted to know - that I'm under no obligation to help and they can't force me to be responsible for her. I can't cope with her behaviour which is why I want and need to keep away from her. Thanks again.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69367
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've just noticed this in the information the mental health team sent me:


'If you do not want to take on responsibilities of being nearest relative you can ask someone else to do it...who has agreed...'


 


If the someone else can be a support worker rather than a relative I might do that. There are no other relatives willing which is my problem.


 


Otherwise, they can keep me recorded as nearest relative but I won't get involved with anything I don't want to. Perhaps I should put that in writing to them?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Do you mean next relative?

Delighted to continue with this but please rate my answer.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If you, or they, meant next relative then that does imply responsibility and you should opt out.

Its a specific term used by the mental health services.

In fairness, a next relative can still refuse to undertake any duties in relation to their relative but it wouldn't be a bad idea to opt out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The term they use in their information is 'nearest relative'. The information leaflet they sent me is from Hampshire County Council and is titled: 'Nearest Relative under the Mental Health Act 1983 - what you need to know'. It says I can give opinions about what my relative needs, make complaints, say if I think she needs to go back into hospital etc.


 


Perhaps I should contact them and ask if I have responsibilities and then opt out.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I think they are probably referring to what we, in London, would call the next relative.

You should really opt out.

In fairness, even as a next relative you don't really need to do anything. You will just be contacted and asked.

If you don't want that then opt out.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice