How do I obtain the medical records of my deceased father?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I obtain the medical records of my deceased father?

My father recently died in the hospital and I would like to obtain his medical
records. I have a sister who is the POA , health proxy and executor of his
estate. We are estranged and she refuses to ask for the records. Is there anyway
for me to legally obtain them?

Asked on October 29, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Only the executor has the authority to act on behalf the deceased's estate and request those records. If you believe that it is in the interest of the estate and its beneficiaries to obtain those records--such as to possibly pursue a wrongful death claim--and she will not request them, potentially therefore violating her fiduciary duty, as executor, to act in the best interests of the estate and beneficiaries, then assuming that you are a beneficiary (and so have a finanical stake in the outcome), you could file a legal action in chancery court (a part or divison of county court) requesting that your sister be replaced as executor. This can be a complex action to bring; if you wish to explore it, you are strongly encourage to retain a lawyer (e.g. a probate attorney) to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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