One of the most critical documents you’ll need in the coming weeks, the death certificate is the permanent legal record of the fact of death. Local government agencies always require that a death certificate is filed as part of the funeral arrangements. It provides vital information about: the decedent, their cause of death, and the manner of final disposition.
Used in applying for insurance benefits, the settlement of pension claims, and the title transfer of real and personal property, the death certificate is prima facie evidence of death and can be introduced in court if a question about the death arises.
Before the business and legal issues of your loved one’s estate can be attended to, you will need to obtain certified copies of the death certificate. You can order them by contacting the funeral director who served your family or through the Office of Vital Records in the municipality where the death occured.