How to obtain POA after my son’s death to obtain medical records?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to obtain POA after my son’s death to obtain medical records?

My son suddenly passed away at age 42 without any legal documentation. I am
trying to obtain some of his medical records from the EMT’s to find out more
about what happened. Since he was not a minor and he didn’t have a will or POA
they won’t issue me the information. How can I obtain a POA if someone is already
deceased? Does this HIPPA law still apply?

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You need to be appointed the personal representative or administrator for your son's estate.  (Since you say there was no "legal documentation," we assume there is no will naming an executor.) As the estate's personal representative, you would have the legal authority to obtain these records. As a parent, unless your son was married or had an adult child of his own, you would be the logical person to be appointed personal representative and should be able to get appointed. Contact the probate court in the county in which your son resided for instructions on how to apply for the appointment.
Please accept our sympathy for your loss.

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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