Death Certificates

Obtaining the Death Certificate

A death certificate may be obtained from the County Health Department or your Funeral Director may obtain it for you. You will need multiple certified copies of death certificates for legal transaction. There is a fee for each copy. In most states, you will need the following information for the death certificate:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Level of education
  • Marital status
  • Mother's and father's names
  • Social security number
  • Veteran's discharge or claim number

You may also need information on:

  • Citizenship
  • Racial/ethnic background
  • Religion

Transactions That Require Certified Copies of the Death Certificate

  • Access to bank accounts, other financial assets, and safety deposit boxes
  • Execution of a will
  • Insurance, Social Security, Veteran's and/or other benefit claims
  • Transfer of ownership of a home, car, or other assets

You may also need the following information:

  • Birth certificates: For the deceased and dependent children. Available at either County or State public records offices where the person was born.
  • Marriage certificate: Available from the County Clerk where the marriage license was issued.
  • Discharge certificate for Veterans: Available from National Personnel Records Center at:
    9700 Page Boulevard
    St. Louis, MO 63132-5200
    Attention to the appropriate branch of the service.
  • Original Will: Available from the attorney who wrote it.
  • Social Security numbers: For the deceased person, spouse, and any dependent children.
  • Recent Income Tax Returns: You will need to fill out IRS form 4050.