§64.2-111. Power granted to personal representative


Published: 2015

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§ 64.2-111. Power granted to personal representative.

A. A court that has jurisdiction of the estate of the deceased user shall order a provider to disclose to the personal representative of such estate a user's records for the 18-month period prior to the date of death, but not the contents of the user's electronic communications or stored contents, upon the filing of a motion accompanied by an affidavit by a personal representative attesting, upon information and belief, to the following facts:
1. The user is deceased;
2. The deceased user was a subscriber of or customer of the provider;
3. The account belonging to the deceased user has been reasonably identified, including through a unique identifier assigned by the provider or other identifying information sufficient to enable the service provider to definitively identify the user;
4. There are no other authorized users or owners of the deceased user's account, or if there are other authorized users, that all such users expressly consented in written or electronic form to disclosure of the records to the personal representative;
5. The request for disclosure is tailored to effectuate the purpose of the administration of the estate; and
6. If the user has a will, that the request is not in conflict with the will.
The order shall be sent to the provider accompanied by a copy of evidence of consent from joint users, if applicable, and a copy of the death certificate. The personal representative may redact the social security number and cause of death information contained in the death certificate.
B. A court that has jurisdiction of the estate of a deceased user shall order a provider to disclose to the user's personal representative the contents of the deceased user's account, upon the filing of a motion accompanied by a copy of an excerpt of the will of the decedent providing consent for such disclosure, if applicable, and an affidavit by the personal representative attesting, upon information and belief, to the following facts:
1. The user is deceased;
2. The deceased user was a subscriber of or customer of the provider;
3. The account belonging to the deceased user has been reasonably identified, including through a unique identifier assigned by the provider or other identifying information sufficient to enable the service provider to definitively identify the user;
4. There are no other authorized users or owners of the deceased user's account or, if there are other authorized users, that all such users expressly consented in written or electronic form to disclosure of the contents of the account;
5. The user consented, through a will provision or by providing affirmative consent in an account setting within the product or service or an affirmative election with a provider, to disclosure of the contents of the user's account. Provisions within a terms of service agreement shall not constitute user consent to disclosure of the contents of the user's account; and
6. The request for disclosure is tailored to effectuate the purpose of the administration of the estate.
The order shall be sent to the provider accompanied by a copy of evidence of consent from joint users, if applicable, a copy of the death certificate, and an excerpt of the will containing the provision consenting to the disclosure, if applicable. The personal representative may redact the social security number and cause of death information contained in the death certificate.
A provider shall be required to disclose to the personal representative the contents specified in the order to the extent reasonably available.
C. The court may, upon a motion by the personal representative, order a provider to disclose records beyond the 18-month period if the court concludes that such records are necessary to administer the user's estate. Such an order may provide for the payment by the estate of reasonable costs incurred by the provider producing the records for such additional time period beyond the 18 months.
D. A motion filed pursuant to this section shall not require notice to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate nor to the provider.
E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a provider to disclose any information in violation of any applicable state or federal law.
2015, c. 657.