- What Is Driver’s License Status and How To Check It
- What Is Civil Marriage: Pros and Cons
- Top 5 Most Famous Serial Killers Of All Times
- What Was The Subprime Mortgage Crisis
- Most Famous Murder Cases Throughout History
- The Dynamics and Consequences of Ghosting Someone in Personal Relationships
- What is Incarceration? Definition, Process, and Impact
- What is A Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS)
- Is AI Dangerous? Unveiling the Risks of Artificial Intelligence
- What is a VPN?
- 7 Cybersecurity Threats to Look Out For
- What are Debtors and Creditors?
- Business Ownership: Definition, Features & Ways to Transfer
- What is a Tax Lien, How Does It Work & How to Stop One?
- What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases?
- Property Ownership Types You Should Know About
- Community Safety Initiatives: How to Make Your Neighborhood Safer
- What is a Lien and How Lien Priority Works?
- Campus Safety 101: Essential Tips for a Secure College Life
- How to Know If Someone Is Divorced?
- What are the CCPA and CPRA?
- How to Get Over a Breakup?
- U.S. Violent Crime Definition & Statistics
- The 5 Steps You Should Know When Adopting a Child
- What Is Criminal Profiling?
- A Full Guide on Reasonable Suspicion vs Probable Cause
- What Is Email Encryption & How to Encrypt an Email?
- What is a White Collar Crime? A Full Guide
- Rental Scams: How Do They Work & How to Catch Scammers?
- A Complete Guide on Parole vs Probation
- 5 Steps to Remove Personal Information from Google
- A Full Guide on House Arrests
- A Complete Guide on Marriage and Civil Union
- How to Safeguard Yourself and Deal with Marriage Debt
- What is Eyewitness Testimony?
- A Full Guide on Gentrification: Why is it a Problem?
- 8 Most Dangerous Twitter Scams and How to Avoid Them
- Pretexting Attacks: Common Types and How to Deal with Them
- How Do Zelle Scams Work and Things to Look Out For
- What Is Business Email Compromise, How to Defend Against It?
- What is a Wellness Check?
- How To Get a Temporary Restraining Order?
- What Is Smishing Attack & How to Avoid It?
- Spam Emails: Types and Ways to Block Them
- Email Masking & Masked Email Addresses
- Spot a Fake QR Code & Avoid Getting Scammed
- Common NFT Scams to Look Out For & Ways to Avoid the Fake Ones
- What to Do If You Witness a Crime?
- What Is Skip Tracing and How Does It Work?
- Common Venmo Scams to Look Out For and How to Avoid Them
- Can You Get Child Custody If You Have a Criminal Record?
- Common Amazon Scams and Ways on How to Avoid Them
- How to Find Liens on a Property?
- Multiple Bankruptcies: How Often You Can File One?
- How to Adopt a Child in the US?
- I Lost My Birth Certificate. What Should I Do?
- Warning Signs of Job Scams and How to Protect Yourself
- What Is a Ban the Box Law?
- What is Expungement?
- How to Transfer Property After Death Without Will
- What Is a Police Blotter?
- How to Appeal a Parking Ticket
- What Is a Clean Driving Record?
- What is Title Washing?
- What is Extortion?
- How To Run a Motorcycle Title Search
- What Is a Digital Footprint?
- What is Anti Money Laundering (AML)?
- Guide on How to Get a Death Certificate
- What is the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?
- What is Multi Factor Authentication?
- What is a Citizen's Arrest?
- How to Know that You’re in an Obsessive Relationship
- Guide to Online Survey Scams
- 13 Different Types of Police Officers
- Full Guide on Work-from-Home Scams
- Is Private Browsing Really Private?
- Different Types of Felony Classes & Charges
- What is Juice Jacking?
- What are Romance Scams?
- Traffic Offenses and Violations
- What is Doxing and How to Prevent it?
- What are Spam Text Messages
- The U.S. Death Penalty: History and Modern Usage
- A Guide to Different Types of Bankruptcies
- Common eBay Scams to be Aware of
- What Happens When You are Booked in Jail?
- What Information Can You Get From A License Plate
- Different Types of Assets
- 8 Tips to Help You Find Family Members
- Car History Guide, Benefits, Importance
- Am I Dating a Stalker?
- How to Find out if Your Partner is Cheating
- What Is A Packet Sniffing Attack
- Intellectual Property Law and Rights
- Cyberstalking And Its Dangers
- A Guide to Phishing Scams
- What is Organized Crime?
- I’ve Lost My Driver’s License: What Should I Do?
- Misdemeanor Charges: Types, Classes, and Penalties
- A Complete Guide On Catfishing
- Vanity Phone Numbers: A Complete Guide
- What Happens When You Get Arrested
- Guide to Find Information About a Person Online
- How To Find And Claim Unclaimed Money
- What Happens if You Violate Probation
- Guide on How to Remove a Mugshot from the Internet
- How to Stay Safe on Public WiFi
- How to Deal with an Outstanding Warrant
- Different Types of Car Insurance
- What Is Cyptojacking?
- What Is Email Security?
- What Is the Deep Web and What Can Be Found There?
- What Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy
- How Divorce Settlements are Calculated
- What are Common Methods of Social Engineering
- What is the Difference Between a General Lien and a Specific Lien?
- How to Detect Odometer Rollback
- Different Types of Probation
- Finding forgotten life insurance policies
- What is Bearer Bond and Why the US Banned it
- Everything you need to know about small claims court
- Moral Turpitude: Definition, Examples, and Much More!
- Misdemeanor vs Felony
- How To Read VIN Number
- How to Find Out Who Hacked Your Cell Phone
- How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay On Your Criminal Record?
- The Paypal Phishing Scam You Should Care to Avoid
- License Plates Types: USA Guide
- Effects of Cyberbullying: Complete Guide for Parents
- What is the DPPA?
- Petty Theft: Definition and Consequences
- What is a Life Sentence?
- How to Find Out if Someone Has a Warrant?
- Marriage License vs Certificate: Everything You Need to Know
- The Ten Most Popular Celebrity Mugshots
- How to Find Out if Someone is Married?
- How to Stop Phone Spoofing?
- How To Avoid Probate
- Dealing with abandoned vehicles in your neighborhood
- How to Find Someone's Cell Phone Number by Their Name
- Who Are the Worst Drivers in America?
- How To Find Unclaimed Money From Deceased Relatives
- What is a Digital License Plate?
- How to Find out if Someone Died?
- Murder vs Manslaughter: The Differences and Definitions
- How to Hire a Private Investigator?
- What Is a Number Neighbor?
- How to Find Out if Someone was Arrested
- How to Find Someone's Birthday?
- What is a Car Title
- How to Obtain a Police Report and Court Records?
- Filing a false police report
- Prison Valley: Look inside Prison Town
- How to Get Custody of a Child Without Going to Court?
- How to Find Someone’s Social Media Profiles?
- What to Do if Your Phone Is Tapped?
- What Is a Deed in Real Estate?
- Where Was The First US Federal Penitentiary Established?
- Find Someone's Location Using Their Phone Number
- What Is a Restricted Call?
- Who is the Most Dangerous Prisoner in the World?
- Poshmark Scams: How to Prevent and Report Them
- How to Find a Missing Person?
- Send Money to Inmate: A Comprehensive Guide for Inmate Support
- DUI vs DWI: The Difference Between DUI and DWI
- How Long After Buying a Car Do You Need to Register it?
- How to Find Someone's Address?
- What Happens If You Get Caught Driving a Car Without Interlock
- What Is Situational Crime Prevention?
- How Can I Find Out Who Called Me for Free?
- Gun Free Zone Statistics and Facts
- Online Threats and Digital Security: Trends, Types and Most Common Examples
- Cold Cases: Best Practices For Police Officers and Investigators
- Court Order: Definition, Types and Examples
- What Does a Fingerprint Background Report Show?
- How to Check Your Criminal Record?
- What is Tort Law?
- How to Calculate Child Support
- Property Rights: Definition, and Characteristics
- 12 Common Reasons for Public Records Request
- What is Antitrust Law?
- Virginia Gun Confiscation Law
- Ways to Know Who Owns a House
- Neighborhood Watch Program
- How to Perform a Mugshot Search?
- Crime Mapping
- Safest Colleges in Florida
- Veterans Guide to Cars and Driving
- U.S. Correctional System: Structure, Incarceration and Facts
- License Plate Laws in the US
- How to Find Out If Someone Is in Jail?
- Email Hacking: Laws, Penalties and Protection
- Romeo and Juliet Laws
- Holiday Safety for Home and Family
- Differences between Criminal and Arrest Records
- Public Records and Property History: What is Public Information and What Isn’t
- How to Look up Immigration Inmates?
- Famous Prisons in the USA
- How to Find Out Who Owns a Vehicle Using Reverse Lookup Tools
- How to Search for Your Family Tree?
- The Federal Judicial Center
- Mass Incarceration in the USA
- What is COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)?
- Data Safety After The Capital One Breach
- Scholarships Guide for Students
- Complete Guide to Student Safety
- What Is a Vehicle Identification Number?
- Determining Divorce: 5 Types of Divorce You Must Know
- Sex Offenders: Complete Guide to be Protected
- New Privacy Laws and Public Records
- Motor Vehicle Registration in the US
- Digital Token Age: Security Laws and Regulations
- Facial Recognition Technology and Legal Restrictions
- What Shows up in a Background Report
- What is Repossession of a Car?
- How to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams
- Human Rights in the Prison
- What are Business Competition Laws?
- What is a Hate Crime?
- Starting a Business and Business Licenses
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Guidance
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Tax Reform Impact and Changes To Know
- Self-Driving Cars: Laws and Regulations
- White-Collar Crime: Statistics and Facts
- Have You Been Arrested? Cases You'll Need a Lawyer
- How to Get a Driver's License in the US
- Car Theft in the US: Prevention and Facts
- Identity Theft Passport Program
- Changing your Name after Marriage: What You Need to Know
- Finding the Perfect Roommate: Dos and Donts
- What to Do in a Car Accident?
- Property Crimes: How to Burglar Proof Your Home
- Consumer Laws in the US: What Do They Mean for a Customer and a Business Owner
- Child Trafficking: The Scope, Understanding, and Prevention
- Business Assets: A Guide to the Financial Health of your Business
- Guide To The College Application: How, When and Where to Apply
- Which States Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?
- Adolescent Depression Symptoms and Causes
- Things to Know About the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory System
- Inheritance in the US: With & Without a Will
- Online Dating Safety Guide for Men and Women
- Sexual Abuse in the U.S.: Laws and Statistics
- Supporting Children After Divorce: Child Custody Options
- Halloween Horrors Come to Life: Holidays Crimes in the U.S.
- Charity Scams in the U.S.: Be Aware and Protected
- Webcam Hacking & Spying in the US
- Freedom of Religion in the U.S.
- Senior Financial Scams: How are the Elderly Targeted and How to Avoid It
- Catcalling: Is it illegal? How to Deal With It
- A Complete Guide To Insurance Fraud: Common Types and Prevention
- Sextortion: What to Do if You Became a Victim of Blackmailing
- Concealed Carry: How to Protect Yourself on Campus
- Debt Collection Laws | Fair Debt Collection Act: What You Need To Know
- How Much Is My House Worth? Ultimate Guide to Home Buying and Selling
- What are the Traits of a Sociopath?
- Do You Know Who Your Neighbors Are?
- Learn How to Find Your Birth Parents
- The Importance of Public Records in Law
- What's The Difference Between a Jail And a Prison?
- Homeowner's Insurance Coverage & Common Claims
- The Disturbing Facts of Gun Violence in America
- How to Use Public Records in Marketing
- Best & Worst Cities for Driving
- LGBT Bullying
- A Parent's Guide to Keeping Your Child Drug-Free
- What You Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Used Car
- Guide to Filing for Bankruptcy
- Making Your DMV Experience Fast And Easy
- How to Appeal the Court's Decision
- How to Fight a Traffic Ticket?
- How to Prepare For an Active Shooter Incident
- How to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks
- How to Report a Crime?
- Keeping Your Neighborhood Safe For Your Family
- School Safety and Security Standards
- 50 Things to Know When Filing for Divorce
- Tips for Back-to-School Safety and Security
- A User's Guide to Warrants
- What to Do When You Are Stopped By the Police
Guide on How to Get a Death Certificate
Conversations about death are difficult. They lean more toward the emotional than the pragmatic and leave many unprepared for a loved one's passing. The mourning period should be a time to look back and adjust to a changed life, but matters like funeral planning and estate management get in the way.
These difficult tasks require many documents when reporting to the government and banks. Family members must know how to obtain a copy of the death certificate as early as possible. This article explains where and how to get this copy to ease the mourner's responsibilities.
What is a Death Certificate?
A death certificate is a record that confirms an individual has died. The registrar's office issues these copies, which include basic identity information and the cause of death. Death certificates also inform financial institutions and partners of someone's passing so that appropriate accounts are canceled or transferred smoothly.
The document that comes directly from the records office is known as a "certified" copy. Most entities requesting a death certificate will require a certified copy, so homemade printing isn't an option.
The process may vary slightly, and most states only issue copies for verification purposes. Original death certificates are reserved for severe legal or law enforcement matters.
What Information is in a Death Certificate?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its death certificate form in 2003, and most states have adopted its use today. There exist slight variations, but all death certificates are mandated to include the following:
- Name of the Deceased
- Social Security Number
- Highest Education Level
- Date and Place of Death
- Age at Time of Death
- Marital Status at Death
- Cause of Death
- Method of Disposition (Burial or Cremation)
- Place of Rest
A certified funeral director fills out the majority of this information. While the family can complete the basic information themselves, the form still needs a signature from the funeral director.
The cause of death is fundamental to get right. The medical practitioner reports this section and pronounces the time of death for governmental records. The immediate cause of death and any underlying health problems also get registered to inform treatments for family members in the future.
Deciding Why You Need a Copy of a Death Certificate
Getting a death certificate can be a painful reminder of a loved one's passing. However, the death certificate is required to ensure the grieving family has what it needs to get by. The most common reasons for needing a death certificate are:
Filing Insurance Claims
Life insurance policies always ask for a certified copy of the holder's death certificate before proceeding with a claim. It is currently the only proof of death the government stands by, and insurance companies are more likely to refute the claim if the certificate is missing. Make sure to confirm that the reported cause of death is in line with the policy's regulations.
Property and ownership are rather serious topics. Banks and lenders won't allow anyone other than their clients to edit personal accounts. So, closing or transferring assets owned by the deceased will prove difficult without a death certificate.
Obtaining Passports for Children
Both parents (if on the birth certificate) must be present when applying for a child's passport. The surviving spouse must bring a certified death certificate if one has passed. This means a new death certificate is needed every five years since a child's passport cannot be renewed until they are 16 years old.
Terminating a Driver's License
Canceling a driver's license will protect your loved ones from identity theft. Criminals will often target the deceased with these scams because it's less likely to get caught. After all, the dead won't go looking for them.
Accessing Government Benefits
The information on a death certification helps families access government benefits such as Social Security survivor benefits or GI Bill education benefits for spouses and children.
Getting a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate
Ordering a copy of a death certificate can be done by mail or online. The process is similar to getting a birth certificate; most states will use the same website for both.
However, those applying for a death certificate online must prove they are "a person qualified to order" it. This title includes immediate family members like children, parents, siblings, and spouses. Some non-family members are also allowed to request death records, but they must provide solid legal documentation of their relationship.
Depending on the state, the application fee ranges from 15 to 30 dollars, and processing takes up to 10 days. The cost may increase if the death occurred long ago and requires a more extensive search.
Some personal information on the deceased is also required, but these are basic facts like the full name and date of death. The local vital records office can assist if the requestor is missing this information. Contacting them may be necessary if the medical report is unique.
When mailing a request, include payment with a check or money order payable to State Department Vital Records. The sent form should not be a copy or a photo but whatever version you initially filled out.
Planning a funeral has been shown to help people cope with a loved one's passing. However, this doesn't apply to handling government forms and financial statements. So, it's best to get these tasks out of the way first. For that, you'll need a copy of the death certificate.
If the passing were recent, the funeral home director would get the process off the ground without prompting. If some time has passed, then there are convenient online options available. The process will take slightly longer, but the copies should still arrive promptly.
Facing death is a challenge for even the most staunchly prepared. It's common to be swept up in the emotions of it all and neglect the drearier parts of life and death. Handling the last affairs quickly is vital for getting to the needs of those left behind.