Cremation & Funeral Planning: Proof of Death Certificates

The Significance of a Death Certificate

There are 2 documents commonly referred to as a death certificate, both of which are vitally important. The first, the Medical Certificate of Death, is a legal document that confirms that a death has taken place. It includes the cause of death and associated medical information. Some families find that it can provide peace of mind but generally, it isn't a necessary document to have for day-to-day matters. The second is the Proof of Death Certificate which is signed by a licensed funeral director and used to notify companies and organizations of a death.

When is a Proof of Death Certificate Needed?

A proof of death certificate serves the following purposes:

  • If the family wishes to claim the deceased’s life insurance, they will need to produce the proof of death certificate. This is to make sure they are not attempting to commit fraud by claiming on a policy unlawfully. It is important to note that some insurance companies will require the Medical Certificate of Death for this purpose, when the claim requires confirmation on the cause of death.
  • In the same right, the proof of death certificate needs to be present in order for the family to handle the deceased’s estate.
  • The proof of death certificate will also need to be presented when dealing with any remaining bank accounts or outstanding memberships.
  • The family will make use of the proof of death certificate to secure death benefits through the government. Basic Funerals will supply you with these forms along with the certificates.

Medical Certificate of Death

This is the form filled out by the coroner at the declaration of passing and is filed directly to the government. The government uses this form for statistical record keeping. Additionally, public health departments look for patterns which may signal specific health problems. For example if the mortality rate in a certain area increases and the common cause of death happens to be cancer, this may indicate they need to perform further research into that area for contributing factors.


Obtaining Death Certificates

The Proof of Death Certificate must be signed by a licensed funeral director and should be sufficient when it comes to settling the estate. Be sure to confirm how many original copies will be required as most organizations will not accept duplicates. If you require a certified copy of the Medical Certificate of Death, the funeral home will be able to assist you. Please note that it may take 4-6 weeks for the government to process the document and have it sent to you. Contact us today and allow us to help you through every step of the funeral arrangement process.



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