How Long is the Wait and Who Needs a Copy
Paperwork is the last thing on your mind following the death of a loved one.
It is important, however, that you take the necessary steps to obtain information needed for a death certificate. This is one of the most important tasks you will complete on behalf of the deceased. You can find more information about the purpose of a death certificate and the information required.
Once a request for a certificate of death has been submitted, how long does it take to process?
The answer to this question is dependent on a few factors. If death was from a natural cause, the certificate can often be processed within a week to ten days. If a death was not from natural causes, such as in a motor vehicle accident, it must be signed the coroner or medical examiner and can take up to twelve weeks to process. That is one reason it is important to engage the services of a funeral home that knows exactly what to do. Bi-State Cremation and Funeral Services stands by to answer your questions and facilitate the paperwork necessary keep things moving forward.
If you need a copy of a death certificate from someone who passed months or years ago, you can request a certified copy online, by mail or in person. Missouri does have strict privacy laws when it comes to vital records, so you can only request a certified copy if you are a parent, adult child, spouse or legal partner, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, beneficiary, and someone legally acting on behalf of the decedent. A detailed step-by-step guide to requesting a certified death certificate can be found on the State of Missouri website.
Who will need a copy of a death certificate?
Financial institutions, insurance companies and government entities will all require a death certificate to access and make changes to your loved one’s account. Here are some specific examples of when a certified copy of death is required:
- Bank accounts- to close financial accounts (checking, savings, 401k and retirement, etc.)
- Life insurance- for payout benefits
- Other insurance- auto or health insurance, often needed for notification
- Tax returns- often required to be filed in the year following death
- Traveling with human remains- a death certificate is required to transfer human remains or travel with remains or cremains across state lines
- Titles and deeds- transferring the title of a house or vehicle
- Military benefits
- Social Security benefits
- Credit cards and other loan companies
- Cell phone providers
Remember that you are not in this alone. Bi-State Cremation and Funeral Services offers personal service during this difficult time and seamlessly navigates you through the practical necessities that arise following the death of a loved one. From your first call to Bi-State Cremation and Funeral Services, you will feel the difference in compassion and expert guidance. Call today at 314-831-8868.