What is a Death Certificate?
A death certificate is a legal document that proves someone has passed away. It is signed by the attending physician or county coroner and indicates the cause of death and other vital statistics pertaining to the decedent.
Your arrangement counselor at Allen Mortuary will prepare and file the death certificate with the appropriate governmental agency. Additional copies may be ordered at any time directly from the county or state agency responsible for its vital statistics or from Allen Mortuary.
We will ask you for the following information that is required on the Death Certificate:
- Birth Date
- Father’s Name & State of Birth
- Mother’s Name & State of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Veteran Status
- Marital Status
- Spouse’s Legal Name, including Maiden
How many do we need?
The number of death certificates a family needs will depend on the number of assets, benefits and accounts that have been left to them. Your arrangement counselor can assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificate you may need. Below are some of the most common organizations that will need to be notified and will most likely require a certified copy of the death certificate to apply for benefits due the family, to sell or transfer ownership of property, to gain access to safety deposit boxes and bank accounts, etc.
- Social Security Administration
- Bank accounts
- Credit card companies
- Cell phone providers
- Utility companies
- Life insurance and health insurance companies
- Stock certificates, bond, treasury bills, certificates of deposit and money market accounts
- 401ks, retirement plants, IRAs and pensions
- Military benefits
- Rental storage
- Title transfer of ownership of real estate and all motor vehicles
- Burial and funeral insurance
- Federal and state returns
- Closing a business
How long does it take to receive Death Certificate(s)?
Four parties are involved in processing the first death certificate, so the amount of time it takes can vary. It is normal for a county to take 2-3 weeks to process an order. The steps that need to be completed to generate a death certificate are:
- The next of kin provides information to us about the person who has passed away (see list above
- The primary care physician provides the causes of death to us
- We register the death in the relevant county by review of all medical and personal information (some counties take longer to process than others)
- The death certificates are printed by the county
We will call you as soon as we receive your death certificate(s).