Death Certificates?…Just how many do I need?


The other day, I had met with a husband and wife who were making their final arrangements with our funeral establishment.  I cannot stress enough how important a pre-need plan is and the many benefits it provides.  For one, it takes not only the emotional burden, but also relieves the financial burden off of the surviving family members, especially their children.  Without a pre plan in place, it is usually the children who must bear the burden of paying for their parents final expenses.  Nowadays, it is the children who have been effected by the economy, high unemployment rates and of course we cannot forget about the real estate fiasco of 2008.  That’s why many families are now deciding on pre-planning their final expenses in advance so they don’t have to financially ruin their children.


One of the many questions I get when doing a pre-planning session is “How many death certificates do I need and who needs them?”  Since every person’s estate can vary, I have created a list to help you answer that question.


Living Trust

Trust Accounts


Mutual Funds


Any type of IRA

Safety deposit box

State Tax Returns (IRS)

Federal Tax Returns

Cell Phone Companies

Social Security (There is a $255 Death benefit to the surviving spouse)

Deed of Trust (Property)

All Insurance Companies (Life, Health, Auto, etc)


Retirement Accounts



Employer (if still working)


All Major Credit Cards

Department Store Credit Cards

Any type of Bank Account


Some banks today will take a copy of a death certificate, but you will need to bring in the original.  The bank will photo copy the death certificate and return the original to you.


I hope this list helps you in determining the number of death certificates need.  If unsure, just ask your funeral professional for assistance.


About The Funeral Guy

We are a family owned and operated provider of caring and affordable cremation and burial services. Stein & Sons Cremation and Burial Service is owned by Philip Stein, a licensed Funeral Director, who has served in some facet of the funeral industry for over twenty-five years. I try to have a different approach and view to the death care industry so that's why I started this blog. I will post both educational information and some fun, interesting things about this great and honored profession.

Posted on July 5, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I do not comment, but I glanced through a few comments on
    Death Certificates?…Just how many do I need? | From Inside The
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