[Editor’s note, July 2010: The Office for Civil Rights has proposed modifications to HIPAA that would ease the release of deceased patient records.]

A son calls the HIM department and requests his deceased father’s medical records. Shortly afterward, the man’s wife requests the records, also. Then a man calls identifying himself as the executor of the estate. Who is authorized to access the records?

Determining appropriate release of a deceased patient’s medical records can be complex. HIPAA, sometimes blamed for denied requests, is rarely cause for a roadblock, however. The federal law does extend a person’s privacy rights into death, but it also explicitly requires facilities to release records to authorized individuals.

The complications typically come when a patient dies without having named a personal representative. In those instances, HIPAA defers to state law to determine access rights.

Though most state laws are sufficiently clear, the hierarchy may be complex, and some situations will still require judgment calls. Facility staff who are unclear on the law may err on the side of caution and refuse access rather than risk violating privacy laws. On the other extreme, they may release records without requesting proper verification or release them rather than upset or anger the requestor.

The best practice, experts say, is to gain knowledge of the law, share it, and request that patients identify their personal representatives during the admission process.

What Did HIPAA Change?

“The problem is a lot of people don’t really understand how HIPAA operates in collaboration with the existing state regulatory framework that they live in…” says Barry Herrin, JD, FACHE, a partner with the Atlanta-based law firm Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP. “HIPAA is not the bad guy here.”

HIPAA did not create a new rule, Herrin says, and in instances where it does prevent someone from accessing patient records, generally speaking, it is reinforcing existing state laws on how deceased patient matters are handled.

HIPAA leaves it up to states to determine who qualifies as a deceased patient’s personal representative-the person who has legal rights to access another’s medical record. This is clear cut when a patient has signed a HIPAA release or named an executor to his or her estate. But when a patient dies without doing either, HIPAA defaults to state law to determine the hierarchy of rights to that person’s estate and health records.

The privacy rule states that people have the same privacy rights in death as they do in life. But it also requires that healthcare facilities must release medical records to those people either appointed by the patient or who are deemed a personal representative by state law. Because of this, Herrin says that HIPAA law can actually help authorized individuals access deceased patient’s medical records.

HIPAA also requires a covered entity to verify the identity of a person requesting protected health information as well as their authority to such access. Just because someone is related to a deceased patient does not mean they have a right to their record. “There is a difference between identity and status,” Herrin says. “You have to verify both.”

Though HIPAA federalized this requirement, the act of authenticating requestors of protected health information was being done in many facilities long before HIPAA was passed. Aurora Healthcare, based in Milwaukee, WI, updated their information release policies to include specific language about verification following HIPAA implementation. But the rule did not change their practices significantly, says Peg Schmidt, RHIA, Aurora’s chief privacy officer.

Varying State Laws

State laws can get complicated regarding who has rights to access or authorize the release of a person’s record after death.

In Utah, pre-HIPAA policy was to follow a hierarchal next-of-kin list regarding who had authorization to a deceased patient’s record. But after HIPAA was implemented, some providers felt they needed clearer direction from the state on whether it was still legal to discuss a deceased patient’s medical care with his or her spouse, says Mary Thomason, MSA, RHIA, CHPS, CISSP, privacy compliance consultant with Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City. Because of this, Utah legislators passed specific state laws to define exactly who qualifies as the personal representative of a deceased patient.

The executor has first rights to the patient’s records. But if no executor was named, the patient’s spouse or adult child can become the deceased’s personal representative. Proving status as a personal representative requires that a person must receive a letter of appointment from a probate court.

Even though the law is relatively clear, Thomason’s facility has had to deny records requests in the past and deal with disputes. A common dispute occurs when adult siblings want to deny record access to brothers and sisters. “In that case we basically say, ‘Hey, we are not the court. Go back to the probate court and find out who gets the letter of appointment to represent the estate, and that is the person we will deal with,'” Thomason says.

The situation in Wisconsin is more complicated. In Wisconsin, different laws govern the release of records for behavioral health records and general medical records.

With behavioral health records, access rights first go to the executor of the estate. If there is no executor, the patient’s spouse has sole rights of access. If there is no spouse or executor, a “responsible member of the patient’s family” comes next, Schmidt explains.

With the general record, the patient’s personal representative and spouse or domestic partner share access rights equally. “None is higher than the other, none can cancel out the other’s authority,” Schmidt says. If those individuals do not exist, then the personal representative is defined as any adult member of the deceased patient’s immediate family, such as children, parents, grandchildren, siblings, and even spouses of siblings.

All share equal rights to the record. Discretion is left up to the healthcare staff handling the request to decide if record requestors meet state law requirements as a personal representative. No one official document is required for access.

Common Disputes

With so many people authorized to access the record in Wisconsin, verification issues can arise. At Aurora Healthcare, the burden of proof lies with the requestor. Providing that proof is not always easy, and it can lead to people being denied access.

“The verification of some of these situations becomes a little difficult,” Schmidt says. “They have to prove their relationship to the deceased, and that is not always easy for them to do.”

A spouse can present a marriage certificate, but brothers and sisters lack comparable documents that show their relationship to the deceased. “They have to be able to just prove their standing in the family and their relationship to that person any way that they feel they can,” she says. It is up to staff to decide whether someone has provided adequate proof that they are authorized to access a deceased patient’s record.

“These are just things that you do to the best of your ability,” Schmidt says. “You are always looking for that comfort feeling of ‘this feels right’ or ‘this doesn’t.’ And sometimes that is all you are left with.”

Wisconsin state law leaves the potential that legally authorized individuals could be denied deceased patients health records due to their inability to prove their authorization. However, Schmidt says the law has worked well at her facility, and she hasn’t encountered many problems with verification.

People become upset when they feel entitled to the patient’s medical record even though state law blocks their access, Thomason says. In most state law, a healthcare agent for a patient loses authority after the patient dies. If that agent was not named as an executor to the deceased patient’s estate, and is not related to the deceased, then that person is denied access, even though they most likely would feel entitled to the records.

Another common situation occurs when a patient dies and the spouse breaks all contact with the deceased’s immediate family, Schmidt says. The deceased’s siblings would not have authorization to access the records because the spouse holds all rights of access. “If the spouse really has moved on, the immediate family probably feels they have a right to that patient’s record, and technically they do not,” Schmidt says. “Those situations get hard.”

In July Wisconsin legislators amended state confidentially laws to allow domestic partners the same authority over a patient’s records as a spouse. However, the change was only for general records, and it did not affect laws governing behavioral health medical records-an oversight Schmidt says could lead to some problems.

But the change will still help with a number of situations. “Somebody who took care of someone for 20 years and suddenly loses all authority, and the family steps in and kicks them out,” she says, “we have seen that. So I think it will help some people.”

Preventing Ambiguity

The most direct way for facilities to prevent record access disputes is to require patients to sign release of information authorizations or name their personal representative upon their admittance, Herrin says. Many healthcare facilities only ask patients for the name of someone they can contact in an emergency or the person who is the responsible party on their account. These questions do not identify who may legally access their medical records.

If a patient has not declared an executor or personal representative, Herrin recommends that a patient advocate or other staff member assist in filling out the proper paper work. A HIPAA authorization form specifically identifies who can access their medical records before and after their death. This form should be filled out during or just after patient registration.

Federal law requires hospitals to ask admitted patients if they have an advance directive. Many facilities merely ask patients if they have an executor of their estate or have assigned a durable power of attorney, but they do not collect the actual advance directive documents, Herrin says. Requiring that these documents be included in the medical record on the front end can save hours of arguing if disputes arise later.

“It is that kind of preparation that HIPAA specifically allowed that people are not taking advantage of,” Herrin says. “They are treating HIPAA as a shield, instead of a sword.”

Best Practices

Unless state law dictates otherwise, healthcare facilities should require that requesters present a court-authorized document showing they have authority to see the record. A hospital is not a court, and staff should not have the responsibly of determining who has first authorization rights.

“Why should the hospital spend all its time and resources hiring a lawyer to fight this fight [between people over records],” Herrin says. “Just tell them, ‘Look, whatever court of whatever county handles disputes about who is in charge. You all go fight about it there and tell me who won.'”

HIM professionals in general err on the conservative side when releasing medical information, Schmidt says. “We are trying to err on protecting that person’s privacy, and [we] just try to make that judgment call thinking in terms of the best interest of the patient as a human being,” she says.

There are varying reasons why patients may not want family members to access their records after death. A common reason for privacy, Herrin says, is when a person is dying from a “catastrophic disease” such as HIV and does not want family members or others to know. The patient deliberately shielded his or her health information from them while alive, and that decision must be protected after death. Release of information staff should not be tempted to simply release a record rather than deal with irate requestors, Herrin says.

“If it is your medical information or your mother’s, and something happens to you or her, do you want everybody in your family poking around in that stuff?” Herrin says. “If the answer to that question is no, then you can’t be mad at HIPAA for making a person go and become the personal representative of a deceased patient’s estate. Because that is precisely what it is intended to do-to stop people from poking around in your stuff.”

Thomason can see how facilities that do not have ample access to legal council could restrict their policies rather than break the law by issuing records to an unauthorized person. But ignorance of the law is not an excuse, she says.

HIM professionals responding to a release of information request have a duty to explain why a record request is denied, Schmidt says. Aurora Healthcare keeps the state’s hierarchical chart of authority on hand for staff to reference. Facilities can also keep a sample copy of a valid court document to show requestors how to become a personal representative or executor, Thomason says.

“Part of our role is to educate the requestor on the true facts of why they can or can’t [access the record] or what the rules are,” Schmidt says. “I would sure hope we never see someone just give an outright ‘Well, it is HIPAA.’ Because that is never really the answer, directly.”

For answers to frequently asked questions on this topic, see “Accessing Deceased Patient Records—FAQ.”

To browse additional Patient Resources articles, click here.

Journal of AHIMA has published several articles that patients and caregivers may find useful in their efforts to better understand and manage their personal health information—whether looking for guidance on how to get the records request ball rolling or simply wanting to find some general information on privacy rights.


  1. My brother passed away in Connecticut in 1969 at the age of 14. Our parents have passed away. He died of complications due to a genetic disease. Can I access his medical records? There is questions regarding his genetic disorder and possible family members are experiencing and showing similar symptoms.

  2. My Mother passed in September, she had a living will that said I was entitled to her medical records. I called nothing happen, I went over showed the paper to her Dr’s.office rep. She took a copy of it and had me sign a paper with my address and phone number on it. I still have not received any thing. What can I do. This was 2018.

  3. If you have taken care of your grandma (who is not related by blood) since she went into a nursing home but now the son has banned you from even seeing her and saying goodbye to her because your not blood related…are u able to be told by the nursing home if she passed away or not since the family won’t tell u? (Don’t want medical records or any other information…just a yes or no if she died)

    1. When someone passes away, the facility will not notify those calling that a resident has passed away. I would suggest you contact someone else in the family if you are able and they are willing. It is a difficult situation you are in.

  4. My 45 yr old son was admitted to ICU in critical condition in Maine. After being there a few weeks, he was discharged. Within a week he was dead. He left no will. He was never married and had no children. As his closest next of kin can I get a copy of his hospital records?

  5. My father recently passed unexpectedly and there are 5 children, me being one, I want my dad’s house and property. All other siblings want none of it and are willing to sign it all over to me and release property and all belongings to me. There was no will or POA assigned and I have no idea where to begin or what kind of form to have them sign to get things started. I have spoke to an attorney who said we don’t need to go to probate, but that is as far as I have gotten. I was wondering if you had any advice.

    Help needed,

  6. The laws in Florida are very strict regarding the release of Hospice medical records. The patient’s representative must produce a court order confirming that they may receive the deceased person’s hospice medical records. This interpretation of the state laws on personal representative was confirmed by our legal counsel. I don’t know if other states have similar laws regarding hospice medical records.

  7. My psychiatrist was in private practice here in Chicago. He passed away in September 2014 and I want to know how to get my medical records from when I saw him. How do I go about finding and obtaining my records.

    1. Contact your department of health department. They have a record or documentation available as to who has taken possession of your records.

  8. My mother had 3 children, me being the oldest and who she lived with. She died when at my half sister’s house, who was never legally adopted nor included in mom’s will.
    The hospital allowed my half sister to make decisions regarding how the autopsy was done,as well as releasing all her medical records to her after mom’s death. Half sister lied stating she was her daughter. What legal action can i take against the hospital and my half sister?

  9. We live in the state of Ohio. My adopted daughters mother lived in West Virginia. Her mother died leaving no spouse or relative. Our daughter is having medical problems. Is it possible to get her birth mothers medical history?

  10. My mother just passed away suddenly. Her husband found her unresponsive likely to a medication error, and chose to clean her up and wait for several hours to call for help until he was certain she would be unable to be revived. He was her HIPPA person, as I lived out of state and she trusted him.

    I have been refused all records. What can I do?

    They live in AZ

  11. No estate needs to be opened up for a deceased’s records to be accessed. See Alvista Healthcare Ctr., Inc. v. Miller, 686 S.E.2d 96, 97 (Ga. 2009) (holding that OCGA § 31-33-2(a)(2)(B) authorizes a surviving spouse to act on behalf of the decedent or his estate in obtaining medical records and, therefore, the surviving spouse was entitled to access the decedent’s protected health information in accordance with 45 C.F.R. § 164.502(g)(4) without an estate administration being opened), https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12405832670145454673&q=686+S.E.2d+96+&hl=en&as_sdt=4,11 (last Aug. 10, 2017).

    Most states have similar provisions like OCGA § 31-33-2(a)(2)(B). See, e.g., Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 20-5-107(a), 63-2-101(b)(3), 68-11-304(a)(1), 68-11-1503(a)(2) & 45 C.F.R. § 164.502(g)(4).

  12. We have a wife and son of a deceased patient calling and requesting the deceased patients records be sent to the son’s Doctor due to some hereditary diseases. We are in Wisconsin. Is it appropriate to send the deceased patients records to his sons Doctor?

  13. My brother passed away from an alleged drug overdose last year, but myself and my family suspect that his wife was involved in a wrongful death. This is based on their history between them as well as her significant personality disorder.

    He never named a Personal Representative prior to his death. However, immediately after his death (one week), his spouse became executor. We didn’t suspect wrongful death at that time because of the shock. As more time passed, though, the dots just didn’t connect as he was never suicidal and had two kids. Further, the cause of death was 50 x 10mg Oxycodone pills – but the autopsy revealed no pills in his stomach.
    In other words, the pills were likely ground up by his wife. He died while pouring milk and cookies for himself. People who commit suicide by overdose of 50 x 10 mg oxycodone pills do not pour milk and cookies for themselves. When the EMT arrived, he had a pulse, and an IV was placed. However, his spouse told the EMTs that he was a drug addict. The official cause of death was drug overdose (likely due to apnea and subsequent cardiac arrest). After the police came, a crime scene investigation was never initiated.

    Over the past year, we (myself his sister, my other sister, my mom and dad) are unable to obtain his medical records per HIPAA. This occured in NEW MEXICO – and we have been trying to obtain these records to further understand what happened. His now-widow has since moved out of state with the kids and refuses to disclose anything to us (including cell phone records, etc.) and we suspect she was intimately involved. We are aware of the 2010 amendments to HIPAA – namely that family members may have a right to the decedent’s records if they were involved in the health care and/or payment OR if they require them for their own treatment.

    We are desperate to find out the truth and those medical records are a large portion of it. Does ANYONE know of any NEW MEXICO state laws regarding HIPAA disclosure of the deceased – especially if no individual was ever appointed Personal Representative before the decedent’s death?

    We are close to filing a wrongful death suit – in which case those records are subpoenable upon request, however, we would like to see them sooner rather than later.

    If anyone knows a good criminal lawyer who has passion for finding the truth, can you also please let me know! We are good people who believe that God sees everything!

    Thank you!

  14. A lawyer who was looking into filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for my brother in law due to misdiagnosis of my sister which lead to her death added my ex-brother in law (who shared custody with my sister of my niece) to the suit without my brother in law’s consent (we intended to set up a trust for my niece and not involve my ex-brother in law because he was abusive to my sister during their marriage). The lawyer then declined the lawsuit and sent my sister’s medical records to both my brother in law and my ex-brother in law. I have filed a HIPAA complaint against the attorney but want to know if I may file one against my ex-brother in law who is now in possession of my deceased sister’s medical records?

    1. By the way, this is within the state of Louisiana.

  15. August 31, 2016
    I need to get my mothers medical records for December 12, 2015, when she died. We have had multiple problems with the funeral home up charging her, transferring her body when everyone was told she had changed her mind and went with U of M Antomy Bequest Program for several things she previously paid for in 2001. Also, the day of her passing the EMS did not bring her oxygen when they were called and said she couldn’t breathe. There is nothing we can do about it, just want to know why. I gave the Hospital Medical Records the request for ER notes and EMS run report for December 12, 2015. Gave them everything they asked for such as Will & Health Care Directive yet they are stalling/refusing to release “Health Care Directive and her Last Will and Testament showing who is executor of her estate” still not go enough. What to do? I want to know what they are hiding by not releasing these records. Perhaps, they know they did something wrong and they are not going to let anyone know what or how, I don’t know. Please can you help? Don’t want this to go on too long and they say sorry it’s too late (been there, done that.

  16. My dad died September 16, 2015. He was a ford motor worker who had a life insurance policy through ford motor. UniCARE was that insurance company. Three weeks before dad died with presumed Alzheimer’s after a number of years, it was the last weeks of his life adult failure to thrive, during which he suddenly changed his life insurance beneficiary. He was an abusive alcoholic during my childhood. I was rescued and became a ward of the state so I was not allowed to be in the picture. However, the insurance company found me and contacted me, most likely knowing I was secretly not the beneficiary. My abusive mom was secretly the beneficiary until nine years after she died. I don’t know who the new beneficiary is, but it may actually be the same person who got the house. My dad was widowed and never remarried so I don’t know who this lady is who got the house and could’ve very well taken advantage of my dad. His doctors office said there was a POA listed but would not say who that is and they were noncompliant in helping me find out if my dad was incompetent during the last three weeks of his life. I am the man’s daughter and only living blood relative

    1. By the way, I forgot to mention I’m in Ohio. I’ve already contacted lawyer after lawyer after lawyer to no avail. I’ve also contacted Ohio department of insurance and was eventually referred to the Michigan department of insurance, neither of which were of any help. I’ve been in quite a jam ever since this all started and I’m on the low income and cannot afford required prices are greedy Lawyers who want to take me to the cleaners. I’ve also tried legal aid and only got excuses such as they have been no lawyer or funding. It seems like I’m running around in circles not knowing where to turn. Where I need to start is getting a hold of my dad’s medical records to see if he was incompetent. Not even the nursing home where he died answered my inquiry. I just don’t know what to do because I suspect the possibility of undue influence on an elderly incapacitated person who was possibly incompetent. If I can find out if he was incompetent that would really help because if he was, I was told there are lawyers out there who will work on a contingency basis. I’m on the SSI and cannot cough up 300 bucks to open and a state for my dad to subpoena the medical records. I don’t know if subpoenaing medical records is also costly, but if so, I just don’t have the money and no way to get the money

  17. Mi mother had recently died at a NY hospital. I was her care taker, and held a care proxy. I need to have access to her health information/tests performed within my two hours of absence from the hospital finding her in the ICU unit in the most painful and inhumane condition. And my pleads for help throughout the night so she will get some relief were not heard.

    I sincerely thank you for your response.

  18. What if the personal representative is not a blood relative(remarried after divorce) and refuses to release medical info to blood children trying to find out about any inherited or genealogical diseases..doesn’t seem right that a non blood relative has the right to deny a blood relative medical info that could save their life…if deceased is an estranged father that never had contact with his biological children. A biological child(with proof) should be able to supercede a combative stepparent that solely holds rights to medical info. Especially when that child begins to show signs of similar health issues..

  19. my mom died in November and I want to get her medical records. I called the hospital and they need something signed by my sister, who I don’t speak to nor do I want to , has to sign off on it. please help, I don’t want anything to do with my sister, she was never there for my mom, never even called, why should I have to speak to her over just wanted to get my moms, who I took care of for 21 years, medical records

  20. If a patient deceased can the brother get the chart?

  21. What are the legal requirements to obtain records of a deceased parent in Iowa? My father died over 30yrs ago and though my mother is alive and remarried, we were told she is the only one who can obtain my father’s extensive medical records. There is a history of mental illness and unanswered questions regarding his death and other family members illness that we would like answers to. There is no current relationship with our mother and she is mentally unstable as well. Do we have to wait until our mother is deceased before we can obtain our deceased father’s records?
    Please respond.
    Thank you!

  22. My 21 year daughter passed away in January in San Francisco, CA. She was student at a Unversity there. She lived and had a job there. She was not married, has no children neither does she own land or any other property in SF, CA. We have her clothing and other personal items. How can we as her parents get her medical records? Do we need to get a lawyer to get the records for us? She had not signed anything in case she died. She didn’t know she was going to die. No plans in place.
    Her Financial matters resolved to us. We live elsewhere. We need the medical records. What forms do we need to fill out?

  23. My 21 year daughter passed away in January in San Francisco, CA. She was student at a Unversity there. She lived and had a job there. She was not married, has no children neither does she own land or any other property in SF, CA. We have her clothing and other personal items. How can we as her parents get her medical records. Do we need to get a lawyer to get the records for us?

  24. My mother died in April at a hospital she had been going to for 30 years.. They told me they have no record of her ever being in that hospital. Iwas there when she died. What can I do

  25. My mother had dementia when she passed away in May and had begun having seizures. After her last seizure in late April, her doctor recommended that she be placed in a rehabilitation facility for cognitive and physical therapy. My mom was still mobile and could walk without the assistance of a cane, walker, or wheelchair. When she was placed in rehab, she was in a wheelchair at all times because she was supposedly a fall risk. She was discharged on May 1st and passed away on May 4th from a blood clot in her lung, according to her autopsy report. There was no executor to her estate and I was told that I cannot access her records from the rehab facility without that being in place. Is there anything else I can show to prove that she is my mother? A birth certificate?

  26. Does anyone know the law in Iowa? Who is entitled to a deceased patients medical records?

  27. How do I get my 16 year old sons hospital records who died in january

  28. Hi- this article is extremely informative. I work at a small CAH facility which has an attached LTC facility with ventilator patients. We often have patient who have no DHPOA and are unresponsive and/or show no signs of cognition. I have instructed family to go through the court system to obtain guardianship. Is this correct or should I do different? Our facility has no set in stone policies and I would like to correct this.
    Thank you

  29. I have looked all over with no luck. My son recently passed away from what they are saying accidential overdose at a local hospital. He was a federal inmate, but died at a local hospital. How do I go about getting his medical records from the hospital and the prison? He passed away in the state of Indiana.

  30. My 22yr old son died due to overdosing on his medication on August 28,2011. Although he was an adult he resided with in Naperville , IL. I want access to my son’s medical history including doctor’s notes as I need to understand the state of mind he was in at the time. Do I need to hire an attorney to subpeona the records or is there any other way of obtains his medical Records. I have sent two letters by registered mail to the doctor’s last known address in Oakbrook Terrace, IL that came back undeliverable. I sent an email to the doctor that he did not respond to. My son was seeing a psychiatrist for his anxiety and depression disorder . Do I as the mother of the deceased have rights to his medical records? OR what steps do I need to take to get his records released to me?

  31. At the time of my brother’s death, my mom was assigned as medical power of attorney. He was still married at time of death but was estranged from his wife for several years. The wife had to be called to the funeral home to sign permission for cremation. Who has a right to request his medical records?

  32. My family is participating in a research project evaluating to identify a genetic marker for a syndrome that affects many of us,, my brother who is now deceased probably was affected by this disorder.. his widow never remarried but his now adult son may be affected by this disorder which can have deadly repercussions,, While being treated by his Dr back in the 1970s he was doing amazingly well for a long period of time while being treated with mega doses of vitamins,,would my nephew need his mothers consent or assistance to obtain these records or can I as sister request these records or is court permission still required,, we live in michigan,, other medical records such as lab values during this time are also of importance,, how do we begin this process.. his vitamin therapy was done for mental health reasons but through research over the last 30 some years it has been ascertained that this condition may be genetic and possibly mitochondrial..in origin. Many of his pertinent records are held by the local Mental Health clinic and I do realise privacy issues are very important in the Mental Health system.. my brother has been deceased over 30 years now,, kcb

  33. All Hippa does is tear families apart. Then to make matters worse it covers up doctors who make mistakes and do not or will not take responisbility for them
    When a husband dies, a son or wife should be able to get copies of his medical record.
    They should NOT have to go through the expense of hiring a lawyer.

  34. For Ohio, see Ohio Revised Code Section 2317.02(B)(1)(a) and its subparts. This is not intended as legal advice.

  35. I want to collect some information for the express purpose of obtaining information on a family disease (hht -in my late husband’s family)whereby possiblily stopping and/or decreasing the horrible effects of this disease. My children and grandchildren are at least the 3rd and 4th generation of African Americans who are dieing every year from hht. At the present time, I want to put together a log of deseased members for research for all remaining family members as well as for my only leaving son, our oldest son passed away at the age of 40, who will be going before a social security board. Can I purchase death certificates for my brother in-laws, and nephews.
    Please email back with an answer.

  36. My great-grandfather was an inmate at Manhattan State Asylum for the Insane (now Manhattan Psychiatric Institute) from 1901 until his death in 1944. He was born in 1859 and lived 85 years. I requested his records and was turned down due to HIPPA privacy laws. Here is the situation: His only surviving child died in 1967. His grandson (my father) is almost 90, never knew of the existence of this grandfather, and now has almost no memory anyway. I am the eldest of his children. I only learned of this great-grandfather while doing family genealogy. I am a clinically trained social worker (ret.) and as such have extensive knowledge of mental disorders. There are some people in my family who have had interpersonal difficulties, and my belief is that knowledge of my great-grandfather’s diagnosis would shed light on some current problems and arm the younger ones with knowledge that may impact their future decisions. Can anyone hazard a guess as to my chances of contesting the HIPAA regulations in this case?

  37. how would i go about obtaining my grandmothers medical records from Plainview Texas? can you send your response to the email listed above?



  38. Do patients have the right to request records that our health care facility “receives from” other health care providers? What are the current California, Federal, and HIPAA Laws on this?

  39. Kathy in re your gr grandmother who died in Colorado hospital, please contact your congressperson and senators and request that they look into this. It is a poorly wrought law. We should have a right to their records and this law is constructed to repel any sort of lawsuit against the states that run the hospitals. We need to write Obama about it as well. Just send him the same letter you send the congresspeople and senators. I am doing that. I happen to live in backassward Colorado but Illinois is even more obstructive. They have a psychiatrist in charge of their programs and they obfuscate everything. Hang in there and challenge them with your representatives. Let those lazy creeps in congress earn their money for a change.

  40. I agree with the following which was posted above by Anil and Ann. The murderers are getting away with experimentation and are and were as bad as the Nazis!

    The guy that talked about the Aggrieved Son was what is going on today. My daughter is dead at 27 because of what’s allowed to go on in these hopitals.
    “Common sense plus Constitution: A patient’s death in a hospital comes within the public domain and responsibility lies squarely on the hospital for such deaths. This rule was incorporated all over the world in view of large MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION prohibited by national constitutions Apex Court judgments as well as by all International Covenants law. Doctors indulging in such practices to escape prosecution in criminal courts as well as consumer courts have created such horrid rules.”

    They will implement any rules to stymie the common people to keep them from accessing information to which relatives have a right. We need to petition Congress NOW!

  41. Forgot to add that I was deprived of the love and affection of my grandmother, thereby having no grandmother because my maternal grandmother died before I was born and my father’s mother wrongfully committed by that cretin Henry C. Hearn. I think that Jacksonville State Hospital for the Insane (what a label to hang on patients!) located in Jacksonville, IL is afraid that people will sue the State of Illinois with it broke behind. I recommend that we make this as public as possible.

  42. Why aren’t my grandmother’s records available to me when that cretin of a husband was screwing the housekeeper back in the 1920’s. His name, Henry C. Hearn and her name Pauline Paeskes Fulk and she assumed the name of Hearn after my grandfather committed my grandmother after she caught the housekeeper (Pauline) having sex with Henry. She must have threatened divorce and alimoney. He had wealth and so got her committed. It was a common occurrence. I want to know what happened to her and I need those records for medical history re my family. It is wrong to use HPPA against relatives and the law needs to be changed NOW!

    1. Hello I would like to get most of my dads medical records because he has passed away and for health reasons I would like to know what I am predisposed to since he had a heart attack and diabetes. Plus my mother needs it for life insurance I have no idea what pcp he went to.

  43. My stepsister had the POA from my Father and my Father and I was denied access to him. Now he is deceased and I was not contacted but found out by accident and still no one will give me any information. This whole ordeal has seemed fishy from the beginning and now that he is deceased isnt there something I can do?

  44. My father died in 2010. My brother was my father’s personal representative and executor of his estate. Before her death, my mother acted as my father’s guardian and received his social security in her name for him. She told me it was because he was incompetent. According to Social Security, her appointment required a doctor’s certification. My father’s medical records will show he was incompetent to create the changes to his will that my brother and his friends benefited from due to undue influence. I have avoided conflict with my brother because he becomes furious and protective when any suggestion has been made that my father was not competent. Mom died in 1999 and my brother took over my father’s affairs. My research shows that his disability retirement in 1978 resulted from his doctor’s opinion. That doctor is likely also deceased. This is a small community and I wonder if his medical records have been passed on to the doctor that treated him until his death. How should I proceed to get access to my father’s medical records?

    Thank you.

  45. My son Frank Jones Burgs Jr. died on August6,2012. He drowned in the Cumberland Rive in Nashville,Tn. he was reportedly bullied by the boys that were with him at the time of his death. His information was released before any of our family was told. Someone Posted it on Facebook. A Family member saw it on Facebook and called our family. We were notified of his death by the police and his school on Monday August8,2012. He could not swim. The Police went by what the boys told them happened as to how he ended up in the water.

  46. The guy that talked about the Aggrieved Son was what is going on today. My daughter is dead at 27 because of what’s allowed to go on in these hopitals.
    Common sense plus Constitution: A patient’s death in a hospital comes within the public domain and responsibility lies squarely on the hospital for such deaths. This rule was incorporated all over the world in view of large MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION prohibited by national constitutions Apex Court judgments as well as by all International Covenants law. Doctors indulging in such practices to escape prosecution in criminal courts as well as consumer courts have created such horrid rules. Drugs do not affect property rights.Death Certificates decide probate court orders.Dead patient’s records when are accesible by all provided there are reasons to suspect that the patient died under mysterious circumstances and on account of medical experimentation.

    ph: 911141630607 or 911141634913

    Aggrieved son

    — Anil

    March 3rd, 2012 at 11:51 pm

  47. How can I get my deceased mothers Medical Record? I live in Ohio and my mother recently passed away in an assisted living facility in Ohio

  48. What about records that are over 100 years old and were the working notes of the doctor, such as a daily journal of visits and treatments? Do later generations of the family still have some right to keep those records confidential?

  49. my 59 year old brother recently died of kidney failure, secondary to liver failure.He had been on several meds for the past 20 yrs for bi-polar disease. I do not believe his liver function labs were being drawn or I do not see how this could have happened so suddenly. When I used to ask him about the lab draws he would tell me “no, they weren’t drawn” What is the HIPPA law in IN. He was not married, and there is no executer, no estate, he was destitute living in a nursing home at the time of his death.

  50. What rule does the State of Indiana follow for releasing records of a deceased patient? It is confusing for Medical Records Staff with so many variations.

    Thank you

  51. my husband died nov 14 2012…tryiny to obtain medical records no luck…..it’s crazee seems like everyone else can get affavidaits and other info concerning my husband but me…i need to know what has been left in his life so creditors and anybody else trying to capitalize in life.

  52. The question about “What does the ohio law say about releasing decease pts medical records” was never answered. Is there another website or place to go or even call to get just information about the ohio law?

  53. ATTN DIANE: Plavix is an anti clotting drug banned all over after FDA disapproved it[Reuters]. Move for police action.

    Best to you.

  54. Moreover the signatory of all types of Consent papers becomes the sole executor.

  55. Common sense plus Constitution: A patient’s death in a hospital comes within the public domain and responsibility lies squarely on the hospital for such deaths. This rule was incorporated all over the world in view of large MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION prohibited by national constitutions Apex Court judgments as well as by all International Covenants law. Doctors indulging in such practices to escape prosecution in criminal courts as well as consumer courts have created such horrid rules. Drugs do not affect property rights.Death Certificates decide probate court orders.Dead patient’s records when are accesible by all provided there are reasons to suspect that the patient died under mysterious circumstances and on account of medical experimentation.

    ph: 911141630607 or 911141634913

    Aggrieved son

  56. I have been researching my gr-grandmother and I knew she had been in a State Mental Hospital in Colorado. She died there in 1946. Then I called them to see if they had any medical records on her. They said they did and the only I could get them was to be appointed a personal rep of her estate or have a doctor write a letter requesting the records (because of the HIPPA law). So I went to a lawyer to file the necessary papers for the personal rep of her estate. He sent them and got a reply that there was not enough info on the request and they denied it. The problem was that you are to list relatives and we listed her children, who are all deceased, their children, who are all deceased. That was not enough. They wanted more relatives. So the next generation’s consent was obtained and that was not enough. They want relatives from her original family before she got married. I have done extensive research and have come up with nothing. All I find are deceased or a dead end. Since she died there I was able to obtain a death certificate and she was there for approximately 25 years!
    So then I asked my neurologist to write a letter understanding that if he was given the records that they would remain with him in his office. He did write a letter and they said they needed more info. So he sent more and they too refused.
    Her husband died in 1937. Before he had died he had put all property in his children’s name. So she had no assets when she passed. No estate to speak of. I have researched all of that.
    I cannot understand why I cannot have her records. I would like to know if the reason she was there is something hereditary, did she have vistors, what kind of treatment did she receive, what was her physical condition, was she able to be
    mobile, and so on.
    So I hope this passes and would like to know the progress. Just found it from someone who replied to me on Ancestry.com. Thanks

    1. Did you get a reply to your question, I have similar problem.

  57. My Mother died during her hospitalization recently. I am listed as her “Representative” in her will but was denied her records when I requested them. Is being a Representative in a will the same as being her “Personal Representaive”? Or would that have to be obtained through the court system? (in Minnesota)

  58. What is the SOC or hospital policies in Michigan for notification to next of kin regarding a death of a patient at their facility? Are there any specific steps that need to be followed?

  59. I have a question about my fathers mental health records . He was hospitaled back in the 1930s where he had electro shock treatment. He lived the rest of his life without having to have any other treatment , however he had several siblings who also had problems including hospitalation. Now his daughter and my sister is living in a assistted living home . She started having proplems when she was in her twenties , she is now in her late sixties and I am her guardian.
    I would like to find out what I would have to do get my fathers records if they still exist and if posible the records of his siblings ,they are all deceased. Would there be researchers interested helping because there seems to be connection in my family of mental illness ,which is why I am concerned for my offspring. Thanks Jim

  60. Hi,
    My mother passed away in 2005. She had a history of High Blood pressure, borderline diabetes,1 stroke and 3 heart attacks within a 20 year period prior to her death. She was in the Hospital being treated for a heart attack and was given the medication “Plavix”. I was currently living in Massachusetts at that time and I flew to Ohio where she lived. She was being treated in Ohio. The evening I arrived there, I went to the hospital to see her along with 3 sisters, a neice and my step father, who was currently still married to my mother at the time.
    She was in ICU and told me that they were moving her to a regular room that next day. She also told me the night before sh e has a very bad nose bleed. She told me the nurse replied to her ” oh my look at the mess you left here” Because the nose bleed had, caused a mess on the floor in her hospital room.
    I felt that the nurse’s behavior was very unprofessional and uncalled for.. That night i sat with my Mother in the room while she ate her dinner for the night. I told her I loved her before I left the room and told her “I will see you tomorrow then Mom ok?” She said “Ok Honey, I love you” That was the last time I saw her awake and alert” The next morning near 6:00 AM the hospital called my parents house and told my step father to get to the hospital ASAP. My Mother had a bad headache and had to be rushed to the CT room to have a CT scan preformed. While she was in the CT machine she had seizures and the special team had to be called in. During the CT scan my mother had a brain hemmorage and was basically brain dead. I and my 2 other sisters and neice got there soon after that and my Mother was already on Life Support with no brain function whatsoever. She was being kept alive by a breathing machine and other machines just to keep her heart beating. So basically she had internal bleeding. When she was put on the Plavix the first time, she had a bad reaction.. Her skin looked like she was burned.. They put a medical braclet on her to show them NOT to give her Plavix and it was given to her a second time.. Failure of communication between the hospital and her regular physician apparently. I recently saw a commercial called 1-800- Bad-Drug pertaining to deaths casued by the drug Plavix. That is the same exact drug my Mother was given and had a reaction to, but yet they gave it to her a second time and the next day she was brain dead . We had to make a decison on what to do.. My step father had to make the final decision to have the life support taken off of my Mother. They told us there was noting they could do for her at the hospital because she was Brain dead.. I want to know since it has been almost 6 yrs now since her deathe, and I am her daughter, Do I myself have a right to her medical records and death records. I want to pursue a case against the people responsible for giving her that medication against the people responsible for her death?

  61. It has to do with state pre-emptive rights.

    Where HIPAA Privacy Rule is not specific, greater state specificity is allowed.


  62. Legislation is expected to be introduced to the 2012 Legislature of Tennessee that will permit release of records for purposes of facilitating life insurance claims in cases where there is no probate administration whereby a personal representative is appointed. Tennesseans should lobby their representatives to promptly pass that legislation. Otherwise indigent people and people who otherwise do not require probate administration may be able to collect life insurance proceeds only by incurring the expense and burden of probate.

  63. Can a person provide a Certificate of Trust as the legal document to say they are the personal representative to get access to a deceased patient’s medical record?

    When should this Certificate of Trust be signed, before death or after death?

  64. This has been most helpful. What rule does the state of Georgia follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?

  65. There should be a punishment for any sibling who simply states “he cares!” and is therefore the one who claims all rights, telling me I had no rights. I was and still am in shock, how would I have known any different until I had the thought to come to this page today. St Mary’s recoginzed our union and I thought I would be able to continue to make decisions about my “husband.” His brother said it was the coroner’s office that said I had no rights and that I “better not call or I may never find out why he died” With mal intent has held me, the “wife” who loved him daily, hostage, crushed by his death and the horrible treatment by his family. During the 11 years we were together we saw this brother exactly, 4 times. Three of which we traveled to their state and made sure we saw them. This man has traveled to CA many times but only saw his brother once! There should be an improved means to inform spouses of their rights and I’m not blaming the coroners office for this as their job is hard enough and I deeply appreciate the job they perform. I will even volunteer to help write up a pamphlet stating “the rights of a spouse.” I will never be the same after this experience and the cruel treatment created even during death. This is just so sad, so mean, so unnecessary…I’m lost.

    1. I am right there with you my husband (solemate ) 1st married July 7 1981. He had PTSD we had 2 kids our 2 nd was born disabled after her birth I to became disabled about every 10 years we would have to take a break 2002 divorced remarried 2004long & short he has another woman wanting to say she was his wife Jan 5 2005 till the day he died service related death was 100 % disabled over 10 years . He died in my arms drown cause the VA didn’t send all his meds our disabled child got to see it all . Our home burned over Christmas insurance company and everyone else could care less I find you are on your own btw the VA owe our kid 1000,00 do you think we will ever get it ? Lol I sure don’t & they never told me I found out

  66. On Sept 17th 2011 my spouse of over 11 years suddenly died. For over 11 years, my “husband” (we considered ourselves husband and wife and were planning on marrying this January.) we together 24/7 and apart only for 2 days in all these years. This man was my best friend, my hero and a man I happily said every week that I loved him more today than I did 11 years ago. His family lives in a different state and it was their choice to stop all contact with us over 2 years ago. I was told by his brother (and I think now I was stupid and naieve) that I had no rights, no decision in the process of the care and understanding of my “husbands’ death. That HE would tell me how he died, when he wanted to. Again from a family who had no contact via phone, fax, e mail or anything for at least the last two years, a fact I can easily prove. I took care of my “husband in every sense of responsibility. I paid all the bills, I paid for food, vacations, clothing, medical, dental, eye insurance. Schooling to the tune of 10K when he wanted to go and I was happy to do all of this for him as he was the best man I have ever known. I thought death might bring the family together, rather they have not invited me to his Chicago memorial, if they have one. I have invited them to the one out here. I have been ordered and bossed around by this family, as they claim “I wasn’t his wife” They weren’t his family either. No one can just step into someone’s life after two years and “claim ownership” We are Jewish, his brother is not and I was upset with his decision but told to keep quiet? Why does this man, this family who again has had no contact for over two years have more rights than me? His wife who loved him with all her heart every day. I haven’t even been given his wedding ring. I am lost and suffering and I want to know why he suddendly died and not have to wait for his brother to “decide” when he wants to tell me. I can easily prove his families absence and my presence in my “husbands life” Please help me understand ho I can fix this mess. I gave him CPR I have cried I ache with pain missing him, but they seem unaffected and I have text messages to prove this even though that was not my intent. I want his ring, the report as to why he died. I miss him and feel lost and treated like a bum. How do I proceed to find the cause of death, get the ring I gave him and not allow his brother who only wants to hurt me not have control of his cause of death. I have bill, letterr=s, pictures and more that will document my story. They tried to hack his computer too Thank you and I only want what is fair and kind and respectful to the love of my life. I hope you will contact me soon as I miss him so much. My life will never be the same.

  67. Not being able to get your parents spouses records even though you have supplied the required documents could be due to the following.
    Fiduary fraud and medical id theft can happen even with deceased persons records.[I’m not talking immediately after death with known family members either]Its imperative if you suspect this and have found any form of false records that would support it to report it to the courts,police,military[if applicable].

    1. My father was not married. Am I able to get his medical records.

  68. where can we find answers to these FAQ? I also have a question re: CA state law re: this issue.

  69. Elaine, you can contact the HIM department supervisor or the privacy officer of a local hospital. They can provide details on your state’s release-of-information laws. A local legal assistance group, particularly one that assists seniors, is another good resource.

  70. Nice article; but where do we find our own State’s information?

  71. what are the rules in michigan for obtaining deceased medical rcords of a sister – or a son trying to obtain the records.

  72. I am trying to obtain a copy of my mothers records from her stay at a hospital in utah. She passed away during that stay. She also had a number of health problems that I may also have. I have mad sveral requests for them for continued care but have gotten no where in obtaining them. Is there a way that i may obtain them?

  73. My brother died in November 2010 in Massachuetts. Does anyone know how I can obtain his medical records. I was sent through several loop holes today with no avail. I am fraustrated and need some direction.

  74. What rule does the State of Kansas follow for release of deceased patient medical records?

  75. I, too am looking for the information requested above:

    What rule does the state of California follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?
    — Renee McClendon, CCS

    My daughter took her own life in 2009. i am concerned that her treatment may have been below the standard of care for a psychiatrist in CA, and a residential treatment program in Utah. I want to request full psych records from both. Thank you.
    -Daria S.

  76. George,

    You need to get a subpoena for this type of matter.

  77. Hi Jean,
    The difference between a POA and a Medical POA is that the Medical POA is the one that we need to determine who has legal rights to the patient’s records, medical well being while being treated, etc. A standard POA embarks mainly on the “financial” portion for the patient this includes bills, checking accounts, their home etc. Hopefully I have clarified that for you.

  78. Where does it state that when a person dies their HIPPA release form is no longer valid and other documentation is required to obtain records?

    1. I would like to know this too because we are having the same problem with my husband trying to get his fathers medical records since his dad passed away. His witch of a step mother won’t sign a release. Even though we are on the Hippa form that clearly says we are aloud to have access to his records. Arggggg

  79. What rule does the state of Colorado follow for releasing medical records of a deceased patient.

  80. Texan Plus Insurance company here in Texas will not release my mothers medical records to my dad. My dad is her executor of her will. They are now saying we have to go to probate court to prove it’s the last will done (which it was only done 3 weeks before her death). I told Texan Plus that my mom put on her records while going to the doctors that they could release medical records to my dad but Texan Plus said that was terminated at the time of death.
    Texan Plus is trying to make it as difficult for me as they can to keep from providing me with important documentation (which they denied my mother an MRI, which would have prolonged her life if it would have been done)
    My question is…. is there no way around getting medical records other than going to probate court, which will cost a lot of money?

  81. what do you do when you have served executor of estate and all necessary papers and the doctor still refuses to release the records?

  82. What rule does the state of North Carolina follow?

    Thank you!

    1. My brother died recently and has been cremated. His son is the only survivor other than myself. He, however, is addicted to drugs and nobody knows his whereabouts. Now we are unable to bury his remains without the son’s authority. What is the solution for this problem?

  83. What rule does the state of Ohio follow?

  84. Fantastic article! While it would be nice to be able to define the laws for each state, it would be impractical since Privacy policies can vary by business as well.

    The recommendation to contact a hospital Privacy Officer in your specific state is the most logical approach and should yield the most accurate answer without hiring an attorney.

  85. My father died we are trying to his medical records from a nursing facility he was in for rehab. He left no will my mom his surviving spouse has been refused when trying to obtain them. We live in Illinois any suggestions

  86. please address the differance between power of attorney and medical power of attorney. I work in a medical records office of a psychiatric clinic and have had to address this issue as many of our clients have authorized reps to speak and sign documentst for them.
    Thank you,

    1. According to my knowledge of this point in question, medical power of attorney and a general power of attorney are typically created in separate legal documents. A healthcare proxy involves giving someone else the authority to make medical and treatment decisions that a principal can no longer make for themselves.

  87. My question is why should one child be able to get the medical records after death. I am the oldest child. The step-sister lived near my father claims she has all rights.As teh death certificate he had demina and she had him to sign all papers on read to him or did he know what he was signing.

    That is after she had taken everything from him.

    is there any justice left in this country ?

    marcia Fackrell

    1. I’d like to know also. Sickning what some people will do.

  88. A sibling receiving medical and psychiatric care, committed suicide, under questionable circumstances. Are the siblings granted any access to medical history? Spouse is denying all contact, and is executor, in a community property state. Do the siblings have any power or rights?


  89. If a spouse is listed in the Medical Records and in the Hopsital computor system, can’t they have the deceased records in the state of North Carolina. The policy says a written affidavit signed by the patient’s next of kin, the patient’s next of kin may sign the authorixation for for release of information. Does that mean if they type or write something stating they are the legal representative and it noterized, would this be legal to get the records?

  90. Cynthia,
    I hoped to shed some light on the question you asked in your last post. HIPAA mainly spells out the rights a person has to their own medical information, and doesn’t get very specific when it comes to the rights or procedures for people getting a relative’s medical records. The way most attorneys around the country interpret HIPAA is if the deceased did not sign a consent form stating who they wanted their records released to, it is up to a relative or loved one to become the legal executor of the deceased estate in order to access those medical records. Or, that relative would have to contact the executor of the deceased estate and get them to request the records. Now, as you noted, some states and healthcare facilities add other laws and rules regarding the release of deceased patient’s health records to relatives. But that is mainly because HIPAA was meant to be the “floor” not the “ceiling” for privacy and security law, meaning states could build onto HIPAA and add additional privacy protections and record access regulations.
    You might want to check into what the record release laws are in New Jersey if you still want to access your brother’s records. A privacy officer at your local hospital should be able to tell you what the law states. You could also contact a healthcare attorney if you feel the hospital is not following the law.

    1. What I am ultimately am asking is it possible for a sibling to collect a deseased parents SSI when either die? We live in the State of California.

      Thank You your prompt response is GREATLY appreciated.

    2. Does any one know if someone dies in home care facility that facility has a need to ask for a death certificate ?
      Need your help

  91. Hello

    My brother died November 2009 in the New Jersey prison system. I tried to obtain his medical records from the hospital in Newark, New Jersey where he was taken twice within a week of death and they said I had to have a consent form signed by the deceased.
    Every State and health facility has there own set of rules regardless of HIPPA.
    Why is that?

  92. What is the best resource on this issue that I can purchase for our department?

    1. What to do when sis- in-law falsified my husband death certificate and says we were divorced. She took everything giving all alone.

      1. Contact your State Medical Examiner’s Office and let them know that your the Deceased’s Spouse
        (Have your Marriage License Available and Utilities Bills, Insurance-Medical, Auto, Life, Loans, Etc in both your names if available). Let them know that beleive your Sister-in-Law Falsified Information on his Marital Status for Profitable Gain on a Persons Death. You want to know what Proof was Shown in order to Prove what was listed in the Marital Status on the Death Certificate. If they won’t talk to you, then contact your States Attorney General’s Office. Tell them you want to File a Complaint Against the Mortuary who handled you husband’s death and the States Medical Examiner for Allowing your Sister-in-Law to Falsifie Information on the Marital Status Of an Offical State Death Certificate for Profitable Gain on a Persons Death. Also bring your Marraige Certificate along with the other items (Make photo copies and bring them too!) that you have. If any of them say you are Divorced, tell them Your A Widow Until Somebody Can Show You Proof Of When And Where!

        1. I am the victim of the same crime.

  93. What rule does the state of Massachusetts follow for releasing records for a deceased patient?

  94. What rule does the state of Iowa follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?

  95. What are the confidentiality/HIPPA laws in regard to psychiatric records of a deceased patient? Our office handles request for family history and geneology on a frequent basis.

  96. What rule does the state of NY forllow for releasing missing records of a deceased patient?

    1. did you find answer, please let me know I want to get my mothers records but do not have authorization from executors i was her daughter a petition has to be filed in surrogates court but i need to find out what form it is

  97. What rule does the state of Missouri follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?

  98. What rule does the state of California follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?

    1. Who can get medical records for an adult male who died in CA–not married, has 1 son 22yrs old——I am the adult males mother????

      1. Hi Ms. Graysen,

        If you read above in this article it states under the ‘verifying state laws’ that one can have if he/she is the ‘patient’s representative’ or get one from probate court to proof that you are the ‘patient’s representative’ in the absence of the consent from the deceased.

        You may also go to the healthconsumer.org and have the answer to your query – you as his mother or his son (any one of you two) can get medical records as per the State of California Law – you just have to proof yourself as the ‘patient’s representative’. I am hereunder giving you the link to read through and specially answer to your question lies on page #14. Hope I was able to satisfy your query. Thanks & Regards,


      2. There are two types of death certificates: The “authorized” certified copy, reserved to law enforcement investigators, and family members of the deceased person. All others may request an “informational” copy of the cause of death, however, the information is not as detailed, as the thorough data contained in the authorized certificate.

    2. Hi Reene,

      I have just posted the State of California Law in my other post to Ms. Graysen, you may read that post also, that might help to answer your query. You may go to the healthconsumer.org and see the CA state laws in regards to Release of medical records of a deceased. I hope I was able to answer your question well. Hope it is helpful. Thanks & regards, Rit

    3. My ultimate question is can a sibling collect Social Security Benefits from a deseased parent.
      What is the law in the state of California? What rule does the state of California have for releasing records of a deceased parent?

      Looking forwarding from hearing from you!


      Paula J Hobson
      9225 Birdvale Dr,
      Downey, CA 90242
      tel# 562-381-0143

    4. My name is Sarah Teresa like my mother meant for the Bible! Etc… my mother just passed after years of fighting the bladder mesh lawsuit, but to b honest at my last glance and conversations days b4, very questionable. I’m at a loss. She was an early angel, n
      My bff. I would like to honor her in the least way, which was… sh had suffered from that bladder mush lawsuit, that ran her to death, literally. I pray and ask for a way a ay 2 honor m mother, when all else said give it up! That’s what hey would b great full 4. I can’t. Please help

    5. You release the records to whomever the Probate Court has deemed to be the patient’s representative.

      1. The only persons who would need the medical records of a deceased person are governmental bodies such as the Disrict Attorney Office, crime scene investigators, commissioned medical researchers and demographic statisticians. To obtain these records, each prosecutor, detective, inspector, researcher, statisticians would need to obtain a warrant to search the medical records.

        1. The only persons who would need the medical records of a deceased person are governmental bodies such as the District Attorney Office, the coroner’s office, crime scene investigators, commissioned medical researchers and demographic statisticians. To obtain these confidential medical records, each prosecutor, detective, inspector, researcher, statistician are required to obtain a warrant. To access the medical records of a person who was married or in a registered domestics partnership at the time of death, the consent of the surviving spouse or domestic partner is also required.

  99. What rule does the state of Tennessee follow for releasing records of a deceased patient?

    1. My eldest sister have me poa medical and financial poa. I was in charge of all her business and medical needs. Her will stated her step daughter was executor . The step daughter died 6 years ago. she was never involved with her medical care and i was her caretaker while she was in nursing home..How can I obtain her medical records? I am on all her hospital and dr visits as nearest contact.

    2. The person who has the right of access to the records of a deceased person is a legally interested person who can prove its relation was genuine and took place during the lifetime of the decedent, with clear and conspicuous evidences. These documents must be official, and do NOT include those purposely created to access the personal affairs of a person, such as any recent “court orders”, ” healthcare directives”, “conservatorships”, or “durable power of attorneys”, for the reason that none of these persons possess any legal business to be needing the personal records of any conservatee, principal, ward, or otherwise incapacitated individual, after death. The right of a person who may access the records rests on the documents showing a genuine relationship with the decedent. These documents may be a marriage license, and a certificate of registered domestic partnership. You can not prove you are the parents, siblings and children of a person, but you could require DNA testing with a birth certificate.

      1. The person who has the right of access to the records of a deceased person is a legally interested person who can prove its relation was genuine and took place during the lifetime of the decedent, with clear and conspicuous evidences. These documents must be official, and do NOT include those purposely created to access the personal affairs of a person, such as any recent “court orders”, ” healthcare directives”, “conservatorships”, or “durable power of attorneys”, for the reason that it would be none of these persons business to either know or need the personal records of any conservatee, principal, ward, or otherwise incapacitated individual, after death. The right of a person who may access the records rests on the documents showing a genuine relationship with the decedent. These documents may be a marriage license, and a certificate of registered domestic partnership. You can not prove you are the parents, siblings and children of a person, but you could require DNA testing with a birth certificate.

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