Procedure for Accessing Accounts of Deceased or Incapacitated Individuals

Category: Information Technology

Responsible Office: Information Security Office

Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Information Officer (VPCIO)

Date Established: March 8, 2018

On this page:

Summary

This document supplements the Accessing Accounts of Deceased or Incapacitated Individuals Policy. It describes the steps in requesting and processing access, as well as the roles and responsibilities.

1. Requesting Access

Owing to the sensitive nature of the request, please submit requests to ubithelp@buffalo.edu. The email will establish a documentation trail.

The request should include the following:

  • Name of person whose account access is being requested
  • Contact information of the person requesting the access (i.e., requesting party)

To speed approval of the request, evidence (e.g., a physical legal document such as a notarized will) that the person requesting account access (i.e., requesting party) has either power of attorney or is the executor of the deceased individual’s estate will be required.

The UBIT Help Center will route the email request to the Information Security Office (ISO) for processing.

2. Processing Access Request

The university’s Office of General Counsel reviews documents (court orders, powers of attorney letters, etc.) to ensure the request is legal. Office of General Counsel approves requests for account access.

Upon General Counsel’s approval, certain information may be released. Typically, records of a personal nature are eligible for release. Please note that owing to various state and federal restrictions, certain records are not eligible for release. Access to account information is managed on a case-by-case basis.  

An individual with a supervisory role within the department/unit/school is responsible for authorizing the release of electronic data to the legally authorized individual.

Employee

The employee’s department of primary affiliation designates personnel to review account information. Department personnel will:

  • identify the records that can be released
  • work with the requesting party to release the applicable records
  • document the records released
  • provide a summary report to the Information Security Office for tracking purposes

Student

If the decedent is a student, FERPA no longer applies, and records can be released to the executor of the individual’s estate. If there is no executor of the estate, the Office of General Counsel will consult with appropriate university executives to determine if an exception will be granted. The Information Security Office works with executor of the estate to release the applicable records. 

3. Contact Information

Office of the Vice President and Chief Information Officer
517 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone: 716-645-7979
Email: vpcio@buffalo.edu
Website: http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit.html

Information Security Office
201 Computing Center
Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone: 716-645-6997
Email: sec-office@buffalo.edu
Website: http://security.buffalo.edu  

4. University Links