death certificate

What common organizations require a copy of a death certificate?

During the upsetting time when a loved one passes, it can be hard to know what proper documentation is needed to take care of their assets. However, it is important to know which organizations will generally require a copy of the official death certificate for benefit claims and other legal actions. Take a moment to read the information below to make sure you will have the death certificate copies needed to take care of your loved ones belongings and assets.

One of the reasons death certificates became so important in the United States was for the government to collect accurate mortality data on U.S. citizens. Moving forward many different organizations have started to require a death certificate as proof of a person’s death in order to properly close accounts, claim benefits, or to settle estate claims. Many funeral homes or legal aids will help you identify what you will need a death certificate for and how many copies may be necessary; however, here are a few common organizations that generally require an official death certificate copy.

Bank Accounts- Banks will require a death certificate to do the following actions:

* Transfer an individual checking or joint account

* Transfer a savings account

* Transfer a safe deposit box

Property- Mortgage companies and other property-related organizations will need the certificate in order to:

* Transfer each title of real estate ownership

* Transfer ownership of a vehicle

Government and/or Insurance- Official death certificate copies will be needed for multiple government agencies and/or insurance companies:

* A copy for each insurance claim including funeral home costs

* Transferring or redeeming stocks, bonds, or treasury bills

* Federal and state tax returns

* Rolling over an IRA account

Having the correct amount of death certificates will help make this process a little bit less stressful. If you need government certified copies of a death certificate, VitalChek can help. Simply contact us to start your order online and let us help you with this difficult time by making obtaining these vital records easy for you and your family.


  1. Hoping you could help me. I am currently working on my family tree. However, until I get the original spelling of my maternal grandfather, I can go no further. I found the death certificate information as follows – however, my grandfather changed the spelling of his last name to RESNISKY – but rumor states his parents came from Czechoslovakia and the original spelling was very different. I need to possibly find the obituary which may have had the original spelling. My grandfather was an obstetrician and his mother and father brought him and his brother here because of the turmoil in his father’s country. Would you know how I might find the original obituary which “hopefully” gave the original spelling of his last name?
    Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide……

    Andrew F. Resnisky
    First Name: Andrew
    Middle Name: F.
    Last Name: Resnisky
    Death Date: *******
    Death Location: Windham, WindhamMap
    Record Type: Death Record
    Collection: Connecticut Death Records
    No newspapers found near the death location
    Source Information
    Source: Connecticut Department of Public Health
    Years: ********
    Description: This collection of Connecticut death records was provided by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. It contains data from *********.
    Address: *******

    1. Thank you for your question. When researching information similar to this it’s usually best to start with family members, however that’s not always an option. Looking into the death index for this specific state and county might be a good place to start. You can also research at a library in the area where he was known to have passed away. Some Libraries keep obituaries on file. Knowing the city and county of death along with the time frame can also be a big help.The more information you can provide is usually the better. Hopefully this information will help you on your journey to completing your family tree. Thank you.

  2. I am having trouble getting a certified death certificate for my sister who passed away on Dec. 1, 2016 in TN.

    She and I are joint on one account and I would like to get it cleared up. What reasons are acceptable for this request? I also would like it for family records/genealogy as well as the cause of her death.

    1. Hello Joyce. Please accept our condolences for the recent loss of your sister. Each state has different guidelines regarding who is entitled to receive death certificates. According to Tennessee guidelines, that entitlement extends to parents, children, spouses and funeral directors. Therefore, the least complicated way to obtain the death certificate would be from one of these people, if possible. If this is not possible, there may be other means to prove entitlement, depending on circumstances. Please email us at and we’ll be happy to assist you with determining your entitlement and the type of certificate to order.

  3. Can I send a photo copy to my deceased husbands credit card accounts or do I have to send the official one?

    1. Hello Marlene. Sorry for your loss. Each credit card company may have different policies regarding verification of death so check with them to verify if a photocopy will suffice.

  4. My mother in law was living with a man for 40 years they owned a home (joint ownership). He past away last week and had no will. What kind of death certificate will she be entitled to since she is not first of kin?? We only need it to remove his name from the mortgage and title.

    1. Hello Kellie. Thanks for reaching out with your question. The rules for entitlement may vary from state to state. You may want to consider consulting a legal specialist for assistance with this matter.

  5. Hello! my name is Lungu Dan and i am Romanian citizen. I want to ask you something:
    My mother is american citizen and she was married in Knox, Indiana . Her husband died there at 04/08/2016 and my mother when subscribe
    the husband dates on the Death Certificate, made a mistake because she don’t whrote the names of his natural parents
    but the names of his adoptive parents.
    My question is:
    Which is the authority capable to amend this dates and can reissue a new certificate?

    Thank you and sorry for my english.

    1. Hello. For more information on amending the death certificate, your mother would need to contact the vital record agency in the area where her husband died.

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