Make sure you have all the necessary documents ready when filing a death certificate

How Do You File an Official Death Certificate?

Filing Offical Death Certificates

Coping with a loss impacts people on an emotional level, but there are still final steps that need to be taken from a legal perspective. This includes filing a death certificate.

Filing an official death certificate isn’t difficult, but there are several steps one needs to take to make sure everything is documented correctly. A death certificate costs around $40 to $50, and needs to be filed within about 10 days, depending on the state.

 Filing an Official Death Certificate

These are some of the things to consider when you start on the legal paperwork before a funeral. If this is too difficult for the spouse or a family member, a friend may be asked to help.

Contact the Funeral Home or Cremation Facility

The funeral home that oversees the burial or cremation will usually file the necessary documents with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. But you’ll still need to provide them with all the correct pertinent information.

Information You’ll Need

Before talking with the funeral home, obtain as much of this information about the deceased as possible:

  • Full name and address, including county and zip code
  • Birth date and birthplace
  • Social Security Number
  • Occupation at time of death
  • Marital status and surviving spouse’s name
  • Place of burial, including section within the cemetery, lot and space
  • Names of parents, including mother’s maiden name
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Cause of death
  • Date, place and time of death
  • Education
  • Veteran’s discharge or claim number

Confirm Filing & Ask For Copies

While this information is usually filed by the funeral home or cremation facility within 10 days, asking them to confirm when it’s sent is not unreasonable. A family member should ask for 10 or more copies of the death certificate once it’s completed, since they’ll need them for things like insurance benefits, settling an estate or any other benefits under the name of the deceased.

Copies of death certificates cost between $10 and $20 each, depending on the state.

Many times, people need more copies of the death certificate for things later. In these instances, one will need to contact the city and state where the death occurred. If you’re not sure where the death occurred, you can check dobsearch.com, which is a free search engine to find details on where people have lived.

After losing a loved one, you might have questions about planning a funeral in the South Florida area. Talk with The Gardens of Boca Raton Cemetery & Funeral Services to see if they can help. You can call them at (561) 989-9190, or visit their offices at 4103 N. Military Trail in Boca Raton.

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