Next of kin rights


Registered User
Jul 1, 2005
I've not posted for a while! Those of you who remember, my husband went into full time care last year after awful battles with stepsons. He has deteriorated greatly, physically and mentally since he has been there. My life is bit more settled though.
The question has arisen by the home who to contact in an emergency and to my knowledge I was the only one listed. It transpires my stepsons who have only visited their father once in year despite living 5 miles away have also been listed. I asked the home if they could remove my stepsons and contact only me. They said they would ask my husband what he wanted. My husband has not got a clue what they are asking and thinks it's to do with who is contacted when I'm dead!
Bearing in mind he has dementia, do I as next of kin have any rights to insist the home removes their names? I understand the home are trying to abide by my husbands wishes which would be ok if he understood things but till recently he said he wanted nothing to do with his sons.
Some make think it harsh that my stepsons are not notified in an emergency but belief me I have my reasons as those of you who followed my posts last year will be aware of.
I feel so strongly about it that if their names are left on there, that mine will be removed and they will have to deal with everything.
Is there anyone I can address this to??


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Hi Sue,

Unfortunately 'next of kin' is not a legal concept and therefore brings no legal rights.

I know that hospitals use the term, and I have no doubt that you as his wife would be regarded as next of kin, but as far as insisting that his sons' names be removed from the list, I don't think that you can force them to be removed.

I assume that your husband has not signed a Personal Welfare LPA which might give you some say on this issue? Perhaps you could make an application to the Court of Protection, but this would just add to your stress and of course the sons would be advised of the application, and given a chance to object. I really wouldn't go down this route.

Clearly you feel very strongly and I understand your feelings that if they want to be involved then they can have the responsibility too.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. :eek:

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
I feel so strongly about it that if their names are left on there, that mine will be removed and they will have to deal with everything. Is there anyone I can address this to?? Thanks
Sue, my objective answer is simply: Your conscience.

I do remember last years posts and felt so much for you ..... still do ..... but could you really walk away?

Can you approach this from a practical level? E.g., who would be most able to deal with an emergency situation should it arise?

Stay strong, walk tall, love Karen, x

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Hi Sue

Not sure I can help, but if your husband is self-funding someone (i.e. you) has presumably signed a contract with the Home, so it would be reasonable to expect them to contact you first.

That said, my mum is self funding and I haven't signed anything at all!

I think I would discuss this with the Home again, and point out that you are the person most likely to respond in any emergency.




Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
as you are the wife you are entitled to be the first point of call. I would write to the manager at the home and advise them to have your contact details only. My mother is in a care home and I am the contact even though she has a son who has never ever been in touch for years.