Certified Copies of the Death Certificate
We understand the importance of getting the certified copies to a family and we make every effort to get the proper authorities to sign off as quickly as possible. Most times this can be done rather quickly by electronic process. However, there are times when a delay will occur if the death is unexpected and the medical examiner or coroner is involved, or if the deceased’s physician is unavailable. In those cases it is not uncommon for it to take several weeks to receive the certified copies. Please know that our dedicated and trained staff does everything we can to expedite the process.
The copies that you receive will be certified and will have the official raised seal, indicating that the copy is authentic and produced by the Department of Health for the state where death occurred. Photocopies are not acceptable for most legal purposes.
We recommend that you have at least two extra certified copies for unexpected requests. More can be ordered later from any Health Department in the state of death; however, the time to receive them varies from a few days to several weeks.
You may need proof of death for the following purposes:
1. Life Insurance – Each insurance company, regardless of the number of policies.
2. Banks/Credit Unions/Financial Institutions – Each institution, particularly if the deposit account or loan is in the deceased’s name only.
3. Stocks/Bonds/Securities/CDs – If held by the individual or jointly owned, you need one for each company. If held by the broker; then you will need one for each broker or brokerage house.
4. Real Estate – Each county in which property is owned.
5. Personal Property – Unless jointly owned, for automobile, boat, mobile home, motorcycle, etc.
6. Retirement/Pension Plans – Each institution where funds are maintained.
7. Health Insurance – Each insurance company if employer-provided or if you have prepaid health insurance premiums.
8. Employer – The employer may need one if still actively employed.
9. Federal/State/Local Income Tax – You need one for each (Federal/State/Local).
10. Probate – If there is to be a Probate of the Estate, you will likely need at least five.
11. Credit Cards – Each credit card company, especially if there is credit life insurance on the account.
12. Cell Phone – Depending upon your contract and wireless provider, you may need a copy to cancel the contract.
13. Passport – One may be required to cancel the passport.