What is a deceased information request?
A deceased information request (DIR) is a request made by an individual wishing to see personal information held by the council about a deceased individual. For the request to be valid, identification, proof of address, proof of death, and proof you are entitled to access the information requested is needed. Once the request is valid, the council aims to deliver the information requested within 60 days.
What kind of information can I request?
Once you have proved entitlement, you will be able to request information relating to the deceased. As we are bound by the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act, we are not at liberty to release information relating to a third party that is regarded as personal or sensitive. Information contained in social care/social services records may continue to be subject to a duty of confidence after the death of the individual concerned and may be exempt under section 41 of the Freedom of Information Act. We will only release this personal or sensitive information if we believe the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in maintaining the duty of confidence.
Am I entitled to make a request?
We only accept deceased information requests from individuals who can prove they are entitled to the information. We consider the following examples to be proof of entitlement:
- You are the deceased person’s personal representative, also known as the executor or administrator of their estate.
- You held a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney for the deceased person when they were alive.
- You held a Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney for the deceased person when they were alive. Please be aware that in this instance you would only be entitled to information about the deceased intervals finances.
- You were a Personal Welfare Deputy for the deceased person when they were alive, providing your request does not go against any decision made by an attorney acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Please also be aware the council judges each request on a case-by-case basis. To protect the privacy of our residents, we reserve the right to refuse a request where we do not believe there to be enough evidence to support the belief that the deceased individual would have given their consent to the release of their information were they alive. If you cannot prove your entitlement, you may still wish to submit a Freedom of Information Request, however, this will limit the information we are able to release.
How do I make a deceased information request?
You can make a DIR request by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a letter in the post to the Information Governance.
To accompany the request, we will need proof of identity, proof of address, confirmation the individual is deceased and proof of your entailment to access this information. The proof of identity will often be a passport, driving licence with photograph, or birth certificate, the proof of address needs to be a bank statement or bill dated in the last three months where the address is the same that you wish the information to be sent to.
The confirmation of bereavement needs to be a copy of the death certificate or grant of probate, and the proof of entitlement is listed above in the “Who can make a deceased information request?” section. You can either send a photocopy of these documents through the post or email a copy to us. Please do not send us original documents through the post, as we cannot guarantee they will be returned.