How to get a death certificate?

When a relative passed away, other than cremation, there are many things you have to deal with. From emotional trauma to the death certificate, you have so many things to do. Mostly, people give last preference to the death certificate, which is incorrect.

The death certificate is very important for various events after death and should be registered with state or local vital records within a matter of days, following the date of death.

With the utmost importance of Death Certificate, many people often get confused what it is, how and where to obtain the legal death certificate of a loved one.
Let’s shed some light on this topic

What is a Death Certificate?

Death Certificate (DC) is the essential legal record of a deceased person about the reason of his/her death. It carries all information from the name, address to the reason of the death of a deceased. Moreover, this certificate is often needed for a number of events after death.
Death certificates contain all the carefully generated information about the deceased. It includes:


  • Full name of the deceased
  • Address
  • Birthplace
  • Date of Birth
  • Father name
  • Mother name
  • Complete or partial social security number
  • Veteran’s claim number or discharge (if applicable)
  • Qualification
  • Marital status
  • Date, time, and place of death
  • Reason for death

Getting the Death Certificate

Every state has their own set of rules when it comes to obtaining the death certificate. In many states, a death certificate must be obtained within 72 hours of the demise and in some, it must be obtained within 36 hours after death.
So, the first step you need to do is- visit your local clerk office. Because death certificates are not considered as public records, only family members or legal parties like funeral homes, attorneys can obtain them legally.
Death certificates are required in many places. You will need it to make arrangements for remains deposition and for managing administrative and post-funeral estate affairs.

To obtain copies of death certificate, you or your funeral home can request directly to the state. Depending on your state policies, you can also obtain death certificate online through VitalChek that manages records of various government agencies.

After filing the death certificate, you will be received a burial permit. In many states, without a burial permit, the body can’t be buried.

Who completes a death certificate?

A DC is completed by two parties jointly- A licensed funeral director who confirms that the body of deceased was handled properly and will file the death certificate with the health department and medical certifier (medical examiner, coroner, or a physician) who will validate the time and cause of death.

To sum up

Death is an unpleasant event yet the reality of life. The easy and simple way to obtain the certified copies of the death certificate is to contact mortuary or funeral home at the time death. For claiming property or other benefits, you should ask for at least 10 copies. The cost of these copies depends on state to state.  

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