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She was diagnose with breast cancer it has spread to her brain, she can no longer communicate.

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Hire an attorney.
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This is a very difficult topic. If someone can not talk or give permission you may have a big problem. I say that as I am living proof. My dad passed 2 and a half months ago and I was not on his account in his bank. Needless to say I tried getting a POA with a notory and she came, charged me for her gas and my dad was so so weak and out of it he could not sign and just X ed it. The bank did not acknowledge it and he passed the next day. His account now has to go through probate even though I am in his will as a beneficiary and am his only child. Sometimes the legal system sucks but when one is unable to give POA while they are still alive after they pass it is over and done and also they must give full permission when they are able to talk or write to someone who will take over for them if they become unable. Good Luck and sorry to hear that.
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My sister had a very aggressive breast cancer. She was told she had a 30% chance. She was sick maybe one week out of the month. She didn't work the whole 8 months. She had a six yr old son. She left no will or put him on as beneficiary to her life insurance. The state comes in and tells you what your belongings are worth. Then they expect u to sell for that amount. All money that was collected goes to a lawyer. Her home had a mortgage and no insurance. Mom stayed long enough for nephew to finish the semester. What didn't get sold she was allowed to take. All monies went towards debt. My brother had to go to court to have nephew declared closest living relative so nephew could get insurance money. Better you have a will.
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I am sure if she knew that this would happen, she would have done the document allowing someone to take control. Gosh I am sorry. These things are horrible and it isn't like we are used to doing all that needs to be done. It sort of hits us and sometimes too late. I feel so bad for her and the family. Please just think what would she want you to do. I am curious, when the state steps in, what is it that happens?
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This same thing happened with my sister. Once the cancer gets to the brain they can no longer think rationally or are coherant. Its just a matter of time. Don't wait. It was found on Friday the cancer was in her back. By Sunday had gone to the brain, by Tuesday she was gone. This after 8 months of chemo. No will so the state stepped in.
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I agree with all of these posts. I hope you can work something out. It would be horrible for her to continue to suffer because she missed a step in the legal process. I might also mention, it might help to see what your State Laws are on this. Even if you live in a state that is a Right to Die state it may be too late. Contact an attorney immediately. MAKE SURE the attorney is an elder law attorney. I did not realize how important the specialization is until I hired the wrong attorney. I am sorry your sister and you have to go through this.
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Whoa, whoa, whoa. The original post said she can no longer communicate. Don't be so quick to assume she does not have the capacity to execute a durable power of attorney and health care proxy. Lack of communication and lack of capacity are not the same thing! Consult with an elder/disability law attorney immediately. Guardianship is a big, expensive, intrusive step involving the court system, and should be avoided if at all possible. It does not take much capacity in a patient, to name someone who she would like to have manage her financial affairs, and there are ways that a document can be notarized if she is not physically able to sign it herself. But you will need an attorney to help you with this.
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Garden Artist has a great point. However, someone is still likely going to need a court order (e.g. a guardianship ruling) to make decisions on your niece's behalf seeing as your niece did not provide a legal document that provides that kind of decision making authority to a particular person or persons. Also, an elder or family law attorney is necessary, at least in our state, to navigate the guardianship process even if it is uncontested. Absolutely agree that having someone within the family take on this role is the best, even if it means just having an official spokesperson to sign documents reflecting the decision of the family as a whole on anything, from paying the electric bill to deciding which medical intervention to attempt.
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There may be another way, if your niece's assets are titled jointly with others. E.g., if her house and bank account are held jointly and worded so that title passes to whoever is named, you wouldn't need a DPOA for that.

What might be just as important though is an Advanced Directive a/k/a Living Will, so that someone can make medical decisions for her. Does she have any siblings? Are her parents alive? If so, they would also be the logical people to step up and take responsibility, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

I am sorry to learn of this situation; my sister also experienced brain metastasis but was able to create her estate plan before it became too late.

I would agree as well that I'd look to a family elder law or estate planning attorney before petitioning the court for a guardian, unless the family is all in agreement who would act in that capacity. Try to avoid a court appointed independent guardian - it would be much more costly in the long run.

I wish you success in finding an alternate solution.
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We agree with Freqflyer and Debbie. Someone does need to become her guardian. Our advice is to start with an elder or family law attorney, though, rather than the county. Depending on her prognosis, this may be a situation in which an emergency declaration by the courts or at least a temporary declaration is required. However, a solid attorney will be able to help you get the right pieces in place quickly.
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Someone needs to become her legal guardian. This has to be done with an attorney and a doctor who will state she is incapacitated. (Not able to make decisions.) If you need help you can contact your county social service agency and they may be able to advise you. I'd start by talking to her doctor about the best way to proceed. Good luck. These are difficult situations.
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So sorry to read about your niece and her cancer. See if you can get guardianship of your niece, then that way you can help her get her affairs in order.
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