by Barry  21/05/2019  71 Page Views
8 Comments  Wills, probate, letters of administration, powers of attorney
An issue has arisen over my accessing my deceased sister's medical records in order to discuss with the hospital my complaints regarding her treatment there. My sister did not have any family of her own.
The hospital (in Qld) said that it requires the authority of the executor of the will (my brother) and he refuses to provide it. Although he has said that he and the other family members have no concerns with my discussing the complaints with the hospital, however this is as individuals not the estate which he views as another entity. He said he does not feel it is an estate matter and does not want to involve the estate, which he says could be implied if he gives the necessary authorisation.

Questions:
1.     My understanding is that a legal definition of an estate is “the real and personal property owned by the deceased person. This may include money, shares, vehicles, land and personal belongings.” Is this correct as one of the investigators dealing with the complaint said that their understanding of an “estate” in this instance was that it referred to the “beneficiaries” and so my brother was refusing to grant authorisation on behalf of the beneficiaries ie the other family members. This seems to be a stretch and I want to go back to this person and correct the record.
2.     Probate has been granted and the proceeds of the will distributed. Does this mean that the estate actually no longer exists.
3.     Is there any venue such as a tribunal where I can challenge either the hospital or my brother as executor on refusing to grant me access to my sister’s medical records. A tribunal in NSW recently granted access to a relative’s medical records in similar circumstances so a precedent has been set elsewhere.