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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing law
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The administrator of a womans estate has contacted me for

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The administrator of a woman's estate has contacted me for assistance in bypassing the password XXXXX the computer belonging to the deceased. He is her sole surviving heir but is not named as beneficiary in the will. He is trying to determine what her assets are, and has reason to believe that there may be information in the computer. The question is: what is my obligation (if any) to determine that this man is who he claims to be and that he is authorized to access the information on the computer?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
What is your relationship to the deceased?

Who is the executor named in the will?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am the owner of a small IT services company in San Francisco. No relation to the deceased or the executor. I have not seen the will and have never met this fellow before. He was referred to me by a colleague. I have no reason to believe that the situation is other than as he presents it, but I am a bit leery of resetting the password XXXXX a computer that may not belong to the person who hired me. He refers to himself as "co-administrator" of the estate of the deceased. He would like one of my employees to meet him at a hotel room in San Francisco on February 8th to assist with recovering information from this computer.

Dear Customer - I would not comply with his request unless he can produce an order signed by the court that appoints him as administrator or executor and gives him the authority to act on behalf of the estate. You are risking a lawsuit by the estate against you if you provide this information to someone who is not authorized to have it.


Just taking his word that he is the executor is not enough. Anyone who is truly and executor or administrator of an estate will have court papers to back up the claim. If he has no paperwork he is not an administrator or executor.


Dave Kennett

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