Who Needs Death Certificates When Someone Dies

Death Certificates Who Needs Death Certificates When Someone Dies

Who Needs Death Certificates When Someone Dies

When you lose a loved one, it's important to take the time to mourn as needed. However, if you also find yourself wondering who needs death certificates, or or how many you need, you have probably realized there are landlords, financial institutions, insurance companies or other entities that may need a death certificate to properly handle the accounts. DoNotPay is here to help you address any questions or concerns about who needs death certificates when someone dies.

What is the Purpose of a Death Certificate?

Death certificates serves different purposes. They are official documents issued by the government that provide the time, place and cause of death of an individual.

  1. Death certificates provide legal and official proof of death
  2. Death certificates are used for closing estates of the deceased
  3. Death certificates help the government track vital statistics.
  4. Death certificates can assist with genealogical research.

Can Anyone Request a Death Certificate? 

In most states, there are specific laws regarding who can obtain a copy of a death certificate. Typically, these people are:

  • Immediate family members: a spouse, parent, child or sibling
  • The executor or administrator of the estate
  • Funeral Director
  • Government agency

In some states, some people may be eligible to request an informational death certificate, but these often will not work for official purposes. Sometimes known as a noncertified death certificate, these are for personal records only. They do not have official seals, and typically state they are noncertified, informational or for personal use only. An informational death certificate is not valid for legal purposes. 

Who Needs Death Certificates When Someone Dies? 

While the funeral home will usually issue a death certificate, it is likely that you will need multiple copies of a death certificate to handle all of the affairs of the deceased. Death certificates are necessary for a variety of people and entities, for a variety of purposes. 

Executor/Administrator of Estate The Executor or Administrator of an estate will need a copy of the death certificate so that they can efficiently work with:

  • Mortgage lenders or landlords
  • Financial institutions and creditors
  • insurance providers
  • Service providers (phone, cable, internet, etc)
Beneficiaries Beneficiaries typically include spouses and children, or possibly grandchildren, siblings, parents or anyone else who has been designated to receive benefits from a policy. If there is no will, this could actually get complicated depending on state laws. Anyone who has rights to claim life insurance, Medicaid, pension or other benefits will need at least one copy of a death certificate in order to process claims.
Government AgenciesGovernment agencies may need certified copies of death certificates. The types of government agencies that may require death certificates include the Social Security Administration, the IRS, the State Department of Revenue, Veteran Affairs and more.
Credit BureausThe three major credit bureaus should be notified of the death to help prevent the possibility of identity theft. These bureaus are:

  1. Equifax
  2. Experian
  3. TransUnion


How to Obtain a Death Certificate On Your Own

  1. Contact Vital Records Office: To obtain copies of death certificates, you will need to first contact the local vital records office where the deceased person passed away. Depending on state laws, they will inform you of whether you qualify to receive a death certificate.
  2. Establish your Relationship with the deceased: If you qualify, you will need to provide definitive proof of the required relationship with the deceased, such as your birth certificate or marriage license. If you are a legal representative, you will need to provide proof of this relationship as well.
  3. Submit Documentation: At this point, you will need to submit all required documentation and paperwork, have it notarized if required, and pay any required fees. Be prepared for any waiting periods, which will vary by state.

What to do if You Can't Get a Death Certificate By Yourself

It can sometimes be difficult to obtain a copy of a death certificate, especially if you are getting the run-around from vital statistics, live out of state, or are having trouble acquiring the proper documentation. If you are still mourning and also handling the affairs of the deceased, you have a lot on your mind and do not need additional tasks or stress. Fortunately, technological advances have made it easier to obtain death certificates, and that is where DoNotPay is here to help. 

How to Obtain Death Certificates with the Help of DoNotPay

DoNotPay is here with a simplified process to help you obtain death certificates. Trying to obtain a death certificate on your own usually means long wait times on the phone, or playing phone tag with the state or county. It often means finding time to go to the vital statistics office during business hours and waiting in a long line just to realize you forgot an important document.  We know all of this can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you live in another state from where you are trying to conduct business. DoNotPay takes the stress and headache out of an already stressful time by helping you do everything digitally and quickly.

If you want to get a copy of a death certificate but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 7 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Death Certificates product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Enter the details of the person who is on the death certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. 
  3. Enter the city, state, and hospital (if applicable) the registrant passed away in, so we can complete the correct form. 
  4. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy. 
  5. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license. 
  6. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct. 
  7. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf. 

DoNotPay Makes it Easier to Get Death Certificates When Someone Dies

The emotional stress of losing a loved one should not be exasperated by having to deal with acquiring death certificates when someone dies. Let DoNotPay take the stress out of the process for you. We handle everything online, so you get to skip the phone calls, the vital statistics office, and the post office, and handle everything right on your laptop. Everything is done quickly at your fingertips, so you can move on to other important things in your life. We will file the application on your behalf and you only have to wait patiently for the results. 

DoNotPay is fast, easy, and successful, which means you can rest assured that everything is handled quickly, efficiently, and professionally. 

DoNotPay Can Help Solve Other Problems Too

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