Perhaps the single most important document you’ll need in the coming weeks, the death certificate is important for:
Legal Reasons: The death certificate is a permanent legal record of the fact of death. State agencies always stipulate that a death certificate is to be filed. It provides important information about: the decedent, the cause of death, and final disposition.
This information is used in the application for insurance benefits, settlement of pension claims, and transfer of title of real and personal property. The certificate is prima facie evidence of the fact of death and, therefore, can be introduced in court as evidence when a question about the death arises.
Personal Reasons: The death certificate in many cases provides family members with closure, peace-of-mind, and documentation of the cause of death. It also provides peace-of-mind by facilitating efficient processing of needed benefits as those described above.
Vital Statistics Reasons: The death certificate is the source for state and national mortality statistics. It is needed for a variety of medical and health-related research efforts. It is used to determine which medical conditions receive research and development funding, to set public health goals and policies, and to measure health status at local, state, national, and international levels. This data is valuable as a research tool and by influencing research funding.
Before the business and legal issues of the estate can be pursued, it will be necessary to obtain certified copies of the death certificate. You can order them from:
- Your Funeral Director
- The Registrar of Vital Statistics in your area
It is always better to order a few more than what you think you will need. Most agencies will only accept certified death certificates and not photocopies.
In some cases, there may be a need to obtain a certified copy of the death certificate without a cause of death. These certificates are needed to transfer the title on a house, mobile home, and automobile or in some cases for court procedures. You should make this request when ordering the certified copies.
If you have questions about obtaining copies of a Death Certificate, please call us. We’re here to assist you.