our dad is not doing well in the hospital, doctors claiming that he has 3-6 months. He has cash in his account where only he can access. He is unconsious most of the time and he is being tube fed. When he is consious he is not sure whats is going on.

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our dad is not doing well in the hospital, doctors claiming that he has 3-6 months. He has cash in his account where only he can access. He is unconsious most of the time and he is being tube fed. When he is consious he is not sure whats is going on.

what can we do to access his account where we can help pay for the medical bills

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he did not put you on the account or give you a power of attorney while he was still mentally competent, you would need to bring a legal action to have him officially declared incompetent and have yourself appointed his legal guardian or conservator (either term may be used) to manage his affairs. While this can be done on an expedited (called "emergent") basis, it can still take weeks and can cost thousands of dollars--you'd have to pay one or more of his doctors to testify and really should have an attorney (this is not a simple action for a layperson to bring). If you want to explore this option, consult with an elder law attorney.
If he does have periods when he is conscious and mentally competent, during those periods, he could grant you a power of attorney. He could give you a broad-based power with authority over all his finances, not just his bank account; an attorney could draft one for you fairly simply and inexpensively and help make sure it is propertly signed and witnessed.


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