My dad is in a nursing home and my stepmother will not let us see him or gain access to his health care plans. What can we do?

I get questions like this a lot.  There are several issues the court must determine in a guardianship proceeding.  Actually the guardianship proceeding is two different proceedings.  The first proceeding is an incapacity proceeding.  The court will appoint three mental health care professionals who will evaluate your parent after you have filed a petition to determine incapacity with the court.  If the parent lacks capacity then the court will declare your parent to be incapacitated.  This prevents a third party from procuring the signature of your incapacitated parent later on.

The next thing the court will do is determine whether there is a less restrictive alternative.  If your step-parent will not let you see your father/mother then that is not in your parent's best interest.  Under this situation the court may appoint a guardian (who could be you) and the guardian will have control of the elderly person's social environment.  As a child of the incapacitated person you will have access to their care plans and will be able to see them at reasonable times and places.  For more information contact Cody & Linde, PLLC today. 

Matthew A. Linde
http://www.nelf.org/find-a-cela/florida?view=employee&id=522