Most often, we hear that the client passed away and a family member or other individual calls the social worker. We recommend that our policyholders do not speak with anybody about the client because HIPAA privacy survives client death. This also applies to client suicide, accidental death, or other reasons.
We require our policyholders to have a Release on file from their client. Otherwise, they should wait until a personal representative of the deceased client’s estate is legally able to speak with our policyholder by signing a Release. It is important to receive a copy of the court order that appoints that person as the Personal Representative of the deceased client’s estate.
Attending the client’s funeral has more risks than benefits for many reasons, as well as the previously stated reasons.