Accessing Records of Deceased Relatives

May 07 2019


The death of a family member is a stressful and emotional time. Surviving family members typically find themselves needing their family member’s personal information from government organizations or health care providers, which often requires formal requests. Finding the right organization, filling out the forms, and seeking consent can be confusing and frustrating, adding to the stress.

To help with this process, my office recently issued a fact sheet, Accessing Your Deceased Relative’s Personal Information. The fact sheet provides answers to common questions about your right, under Ontario’s access and privacy laws, to obtain personal information about a deceased relative.

The fact sheet provides answers to such questions as:

  • Can I access my relative’s personal information from a government organization?
  • What if I am not a personal representative?
  • What can I do if an organization refuses my request for information?
  • Who is the substitute decision-maker for a deceased individual?
  • What if the substitute decision-maker won’t give consent?

The fact sheet also provides simple explanations about what constitutes a personal representative, an estate trustee, an executor and an administrator.

If you have any further questions about getting the personal information of a deceased relative, or any of Ontario’s access and privacy laws, please contact us at info@ipc.on.ca or 1-800-387-0073.