Next of kin


Registered User
Dec 14, 2006
Hi there!
I wondered if anyone can clarify a question about this whole next-of-kin thing. My husband's former mother-in-law (his late wife's mum) is in hospital and they are looking to move her permanently to a specialist EMI unit. This will mean that her home will have to be sold. Obviously it is nothing to do with my husband or me now, but Mum has a daughter in Canada and a grandson in Birmingham. Daughter in Canada has details of all Mum's finances but obviously grandson is here in UK. I have a vague recollection of reading a post on here some time ago that said that it was the person residing in the UK who would be deemed legal next of kin by our local authorities and expected to take the lead on all this sort of thing? Or will it be the daughter who should make the decisions?


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Lincsmom
a legal question which needs expert advice.
I would suggest that you telephone Alzheimer's help line

The number to dial is 0845 300 0336


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I think it might have been a post of mine. As someone who lives overseas but who was the only child of my mother I was more than a little disturbed to find that I would not have been considered my mother's nearest relative under the Mental Health Act. Only the Mental Health Act though. Apart from the logistics of dealing with finances etc from afar, there was nothing else to stop me acting on my Mother's behalf. Under the Mental Health Act there are specific rights that accrue to the "nearest relative": see here


The problem that I am having is that The Mental Health Act does not come into it - but the Mental Capacity Act apparently does.



Registered User
Feb 17, 2006

22. What if an individual is incapable of giving consent to collection, use or disclosure of health information?
The power to give consent may be exercised on behalf of an individual who is incapable of giving consent by an authorised representative of that individual. An individual is considered incapable of giving consent by reason of age, injury, disease, senility, illness, disability, physical impairment or mental disorder if they are incapable of understanding the general nature and effect of giving the consent, or communicating the consent (or refusal) despite the provision of reasonable assistance by another person.
An authorised representative means a person who is:
(a) a guardian of the individual; or
(b) an attorney for the individual under an enduring power of attorney; or
(c) an agent for the individual within the meaning of the Medical Treatment Act 1988; or
(d) an administrator or a person responsible within the meaning of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986; or
(e) a parent of an individual, if the individual is a child; or
(f) otherwise empowered under law to perform any functions or duties or exercise powers as an agent of or in the best interests of the individual--
except to the extent that acting as an authorised representative of the individual is inconsistent with an order made by a court or tribunal.

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