How Many Death Certificates Are Needed?

*The below information is intended to act as a guide, is not legal advice and could change without notice. 

 You will need to show an original death certificate; they may make a photocopy, and they should return the original to you.

  • Social Security (Personal Alternative informs Social Security via fax)
  • Bank Accounts (Local)
  • Motor Vehicle Licensing
  • Credit Cards (fax them and keep the fax confirmation sheet for your records)
  • Local Energy Company (fax them and keep the fax confirmation sheet for your records)
  • Cellular Phone Accounts (fax them and keep the fax confirmation sheet for your records)
  • Filing a will with the local courthouse

You will probably have to give these agencies an original copy of death certificate.

  • 401k (Held by a stockbroker-the stockbroker should be able to handle multiple sales with one death certificate)
  • Any stock certificates held in note form, not held in trust
  • Retirement Pension – State
  • Retirement Company Pension Plan
  • Military Benefits (Free VA copy is issued specifically for VA Benefits)
  • Life Insurance Policies (Life insurance policies will require an original and death certificate won’t be returned)
  • Some mortgages are life insured
  • Some vehicle are insured for their payments
  • Out of state property transfer, vehicles, RVs, houses, etc.
  • Closing out of state bank accounts
  • When someone has a rental storage space it is often required to give them an original for their records
  • Closing a corporation, LLC, etc.
  • For each child under the age of 18, we recommend having a death certificate for that child. There are many reasons why they will require a death certificate in the future, as an example, universities offer assistance to orphaned children.
  • When forwarding human remains to another country, many consulates require an original for their records
  • When burying or scattering ashes in some states, an original death certificate is required by the cemetery or scattering service (Washington state does not). As a rule of thumb, anytime you will be getting funds back, you will in most cases require an original death certificate.

Order death certificates online