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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48474
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I am a provider of supported accommodation for adults with

Customer Question

I am a provider of supported accommodation for adults with learning disabilities & mental health issues. One of my clients has passed away & a relative of the deceased (not next of kin) is requesting all files from us relating to the deceased. Under Data Protection how do we stand on this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. The Data Protection Act only applies to living individuals so once a person is deceased they get no further protection under it. The access to certain records when one is deceased will then be governed by other legislation, depending on the circumstances.

If you were a public body then any requests for information can be done under the Freedom of Information Act, although there are still certain exemptions that can be used to reject such requests. Further details can be found here:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/sector_guides/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/INFORMATIONABOUTTHEDECEASED.ashx

However, if you are not a public body then the DPA will no longer be applicable and if you want to release the information you may do so.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.
I do not want to hand over the files. Am I legally obliged to by law?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.
No, you may have to do it if the request comes from a legal representative of the deceased but not just anyone who says they are a relative or knew them