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Death Certificate: Why is it important?

What is a Death Certificate and Why is it important?

What is a Death Certificate and Why Is It Important? When an individual passes away, a vital records death certificate is one of the most important documents that must be obtained to proceed with processes such as burials or cremations, estate planning, and ownership transfers.

You may be feeling overwhelmed during this time and wondering, “how do I get a death certificate?” That’s why State Vital Records is here to help and wants to answer all your questions on getting a death certificate and more, keep reading to find out.

What is a Death Certificate?

A death certificate is an official document issued by the government that declares the cause, location, and time of death of the deceased.

The original certificate of death is issued by a county medical examiner, certified physician, or coroner. After a relative verifies the identity of the deceased, the initial provider will file the certificate with the vital records office at the state health department. Once reviewed by a government official, they will provide an official government seal.

Why Do You Need A Death Certificate?

It is generally accepted to order 5-10 copies of a death certificate because there are many reasons why one would need proof and cause of death.

Here are some of the most common reasons a citizen will need a death certificate, including:

  • - Arrange a burial or cremation.
  • - Grant the Executor of the Estate access to financial accounts and assets.
  • - File a life insurance claim.
  • - Government officials will need the death certificate in the event an investigation is opened into the deceased’s cause of death.
  • - Creditors and mortgage lenders will need to verify death.
  • - Transferring ownership of vehicles, real estate, and other property.

Now that we know why one would need a death certificate, it is important to remember who can obtain a death certificate, and that is state dependent.

How To Obtain a Death Certificate

Depending on the state you are trying to obtain a death certificate from will determine who can obtain the death certificate. in question. Some states consider death certificates public records, making them available to anyone. However, states like California only provide unofficial copies available to non relatives of the deceased. It is important to visit your state's vital records site to learn more about your state's regulations when it comes to obtaining a certified death certificate.

If you're wondering how to obtain a death certificate online, State Vital Records provides services and different types of vital records to a majority of U.S states, check to see if your state is covered, here.

How To Get a Copy Of A Death Certificate?

As previously stated, different states have different processes for who and how one can obtain a death certificate. The most popular ways of getting a death certificate are going to your local vital records office, the funeral home, or online through State Vital Records. Our State Vital Records team understands that the last thing you want to do if grieving is to fill out paperwork, that’s why we strive to make the process quick and easy and let you fill out an online application to have your death certificate shipped directly to your home.