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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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I need to officially register as next of kin, power of attorney

Customer Question

I need to officially register as next of kin, power of attorney and nearest relative for my long term best friend who is terminally ill with no capable living relatives alive. It has been discussed with her step mother who is in agreement. Please can you let me know how this can be achieved legally.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Kasare replied 4 years ago.
Hi thanks you for your question, I will assist you with this.

In order to assist you fully, can you please advise if your friend is still able to understand and sign documents? Also, are you seeking Power of Attorney with regards to her health and welfare or financial matters or both?

What rights is it that you and your friend want you to have?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I expect the tricky part is that she is now detained under section 2 MHA. As I am not a direct relative but I am living with her (not as a partner). My friend has a number of day to day matters that require her authority including financial matters and not least her nearest relative under the section 2. With no NR she is forced to comply with all treatment and assessments which may or may not be appropriate and I feel that currently her safest place for care and treatment is at home or a medical ward suitable to her needs and not what she has now. Despite its modern look the hospital is no more than an asylum of the 19th century.,

Expert:  Kasare replied 4 years ago.
Hi thanks for coming back to me.

This is not really a straight forward matter and requires an in-depth review of the entire circumstances, but I will endeavour to answer you with as much information as I can.

Does your friend have any direct relatives, parents, grandparents, siblings or children other than her step mother? If not, what is your relationship? Do you live together? Are you her carer? If your are authorised by her nearest relative, you can apply to discharge her, provided she would not be in danger or a danger to herself. Alternatively, if there is no one else then you and/or your friend can apply to the court for an order that you are appointed the NR.

This link provides you with information required as to what is a NR and the standard letter that can be used to apply to discharge her:

there is also a next of kin card that is available online, not the paid one, but free. Ensure this is completed and your friend carries a copy of this with her. If you google this,you will find this online. It can be printed out and carried by both of you.

The office of the Public Guardian has a website where the necessary documents to apply for the power of attorney for Heath and welfare and also finances. These need to be completed and register with the OPG. There is a lot of guidance on the OPGs website. Your friend can still make a power if attorney even if under the Mental Health Act. Someone else will need to sign and witness this and confirm that your friend has understood what she has signed.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, please ask.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help so far.

She has direct relatives but....

Her Father is very unwell having suffered a number of strokes, he is not able or willing to take on the role and has expressed his desire for me to take this on. There are siblings but again they are either medically unable to take the role or are part of the current problem. She is uncontactable but would also actively work to the detriment of my friend. I've known my friend for around 20 years although this current situation means that I live in her house and am providing 24 hour care as her carer.

Expert:  Kasare replied 4 years ago.
Hi Brian, thanks for confirming this and sorry for the delay in replying.

Essentially her father therefore is her NR. However, you can also qualify as the NR if you can show you have lived with her for five years or more.

If you do not fulfil this requirement then it is possible for the NR (her father) to pass their rights to you (this is known as ‘delegating’) provided that you agree to take on the role. There are many examples available online as to how to do this, but this is essentially a letter as below:

Dear --------- / To whom it may concern,

Authority to perform the functions of nearest relative

I, [my name], of [full address] am the [relationship] of [name of patient], and [his or her] nearest relative within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983.

This authority is given pursuant to the Act, and also Regulation 24 of the Mental Health (Hospital, Guardianship and Treatment) (England) Regulations 2008.

I hereby authorise [name of person to delegate to] to perform in respect of [name of patient] the functions conferred upon the nearest relative by the said Act.

Signed ……………………………………….
Nearest relative
Date ……………………………………….

You could also include the following:

I, [name of delegatee], of [full address], hereby confirm that I agree to take on the duties of the nearest relative under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Signed ……………………………………….
Date ……………………………………….

I hope this assists. If you require anything further, let me know.