No power of attorney

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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No power of attorney

My husband died in February. He never signed a power of attorney. He had been legally blind for many years and I always had to fill out forms and sign things for him. There has been no problems except for the rehab facility he was in. They will not release his medical records to me unless I go through the expense of going through probate court to be made executor of the estate to get three weeks of records. Yet there was no problem with me signing everything to admit him into the facility. I know they are afraid of a lawsuit but is there another way around this?

Asked on May 17, 2018 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no way around it: they are doing what the law requires. The law is very clear that *only* the executor, court-appointed administrator, or personal representative (depending on the circumstances, any of these terms might be the appropriate one) of a deceased's estate has the legal authority to access their health care records, accounts, personal information, etc. You cannot expect the rehab facility to violate the law for you; you need to get the necessary authority from the probate court.

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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