Who has legal rights in the following situation.
A man in severely injuried in an accident - critical condition/comatose. Hospitalized in IA. His state residence is NE. He has a live-in girlfriend (NE) for over 10 years. IA recognizes "common law" marriage - NE does not. The man has a 19 year old child, IA recognizes him as next of kin. What rights if any does the long-term girlfriend have. Eventually the man will be transfered to a NE hospital.
Estate Planning Attorney
Long term girlfriend has the same legal rights as a neighbor, none - unless the man grants legal authority to the girlfirend via a power of attorney or other legal mechanism (guardianship/conservatorship). Family is always favored under state law if it becomes necessary to be appointed guardian/conservator. Who is acting for this man in a coma and under what authority are they acting? If there is no POA, the hospital should be listening to the son, if anyone.
Mr. Post is licensed to practice law in KS and MO. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply unsuitable. Mr. Post strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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