texas death certificate

6 Reasons It Is Essential to Order Multiple Copies of a Texas Death Certificate

CalenderJuly 15, 2022

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When a person passes away, the government issues a death certificate to mark the occurrence. The document becomes an important legal record of the death and is used in many ways. It is required to settle the person’s estate, claim life insurance benefits, and collect retirement benefits. The Texas death certificate can also help establish the cause of death for purposes of medical research.

In most situations, a copy of the death certificate will be required for loved ones to assume control over financial and legal affairs on behalf of the deceased. It’s critical to know where and how you’ll be asked to submit this documentation. Continue reading to learn more about how and why death certificates are utilized in the state of Texas!

What Is a Death Certificate?

A death certificate is a government-issued document that records the time, location, and cause of an individual’s death. The purpose of a death certificate is to provide official proof of a person’s death for legal purposes and to handle the deceased’s estate. The documents are also used by the government to track population-wide statistics.

The procedure of issuing birth and death certificates in the United States dates back to the 1700s when religious groups and the county clerk began to keep early records. In the state of Texas, several counties began keeping official birth and death records in 1903, even though statewide registration did not begin until 1908. Today, death records can be obtained in Texas through the city clerk or the state Vital Statistics unit.

Furthermore, nowadays death certificates are used by state health services for purposes of research and statistics. Public health experts use death certificates to study how people die and identify ways to prevent those deaths. The information on death certificates can help experts understand trends in mortality rates, identify risk factors for certain diseases, and develop public health interventions. Finally, these records are useful for a variety of reasons outside of just legal matters, such as family history, ancestry research, and healthcare.

Who Prepares the Death Certificate?

The death certificate will be prepared and filed by the funeral home, cremation organization, or another person in charge of the deceased person’s remains. The certificate is prepared by gathering personal information from family members and obtaining the signature of a doctor, medical examiner, or coroner. This procedure must be completed within three to ten days of the passing.

Reasons Why You Need Multiple Copies of Texas Death Certificates

When you lose a loved one, you’ll need a death certificate to show insurance providers, banks, utility companies, and other organizations with ties to the deceased. The precise quantity of copies required varies depending on the scenario. Nonetheless, it is strongly recommended to assume you’ll need many copies. This is because you might not be sure who will request a copy or when. While the funeral home generally provides one free copy, it’s often necessary to order more.

Another thing to remember is that you’ll be asked for two types of death certificates: certified copies and uncertified copies. A certified copy is a legal document that has been authenticated by your local court and vital records division. You generally pay for each copy when you order them through the records office. An uncertified copy is the same as a certified copy, except for the attested signature and raised seal. The downside is that an uncertified copy may not be accepted by some government agencies or businesses.

If you’re not sure how many copies of the certified death certificate you need, it’s best to order more than you think you’ll need. That way, you’ll have extras on hand in case you need them later. For any of the following processes, you’ll almost certainly need a certified copy of the death certificate:

To Claim Life Insurance

To submit life insurance claims, a beneficiary is required to obtain a death certificate. The insurance company will not release the death benefits to the beneficiaries without a certified copy of the death certificate. The submission of the death certificate is relevant for home, auto, and life insurance.

To Transfer Ownership of Assets

In most cases, the death certificate serves as formal proof of death and allows the executor or administrator to transfer ownership of any land, vehicles, and other properties belonging to the deceased.

To Close Bank Accounts

You’ll most likely need certified copies of the death certificate to close or transfer bank accounts, however, this is dependent on the institution. The same is true for treasury bills, retirement savings accounts, and bonds. The death certificate is also used to cancel any credit or debit card, membership, or subscription that the deceased had.

For Social Security Benefits

The responsibility of informing Social Security of a beneficiary’s death ultimately rests with the surviving family members. If you are applying for survivor benefits from Social Security, you will need to submit a copy of the death certificate as well. You can do this by:

  • Mailing or bringing the original death certificate to your local Social Security office, or
  • Sending a copy of the death certificate to the office by fax.

For Final Tax Returns

In the year of a taxpayer’s death, a final return is submitted to the IRS on the deceased’s behalf. Taxpayers who pass away must have one final tax return submitted to the IRS on their behalf to record any income or transfers received during that year. To finalize this procedure, a copy of the official death record must be submitted with the return.

For Burial and Cremation Services

Most local authorities, cemeteries, and crematories need a death certificate signed by a local physician or coroner to finish a burial or cremation service. The death certificate is a legal requirement that ensures the correct handling of remains and that the individual being interred or cremated is, in fact, dead.

In most situations, the coroner will give you a Certificate of Disposition of Remains at the same time as the death certificate. This is especially critical when the remains are going to be taken to another country for burial. Many counties will demand an original copy of the death certificate before allowing the remains to enter.

The medical examiner’s certificate is necessary in the case of cremation, and it must be issued after a physical examination of the body and confirmation that no further study or court inquiry is required. The medical examiner will come to the funeral home or crematory to inspect the body and issue a certificate of cremation.

Who Is Eligible to Order Death Records?

Death certificates are public documents, which means that anyone aged 18 or older can get a certified copy of someone’s death certificate. The only thing to be aware of is that these do not include the cause of death. The cause of death is a confidential detail that needs further identifying information to access. The following people in Texas may obtain a cause of death certificate if they provide the requisite documentation:

  • An immediate family member who is a resident of Texas
  • A surviving spouse
  • A surviving parent
  • The funeral director

If you need a copy of a Texas death certificate for legal or personal reasons, you can contact the local county clerk’s office or the state vital records office to get one. You will need to provide the full name of the deceased (as listed on the record), as well as the date and place of death, gender of deceased listed on record, and the city and/or county where the death occurred. Keep in mind that there is usually a fee for this service.

How Do I Obtain a Death Certificate?

A death certificate may be obtained in one of three ways:

Funeral Home

At the time of death, you may request a death certificate from the funeral home or mortuary. If you’re in charge of closing the deceased person’s affairs, make sure you ask for at least 10 copies. The funeral director will usually send a copy of the death certificate to the attending physician, local health department, and state vital records office.

You’ll need one for every time you claim property or benefits belonging to the departed individual, such as life insurance proceeds, Social Security payments, payable on death accounts, veterans benefits, and so on. These documents will also be required to cancel the person’s driver’s license, voter registration, and credit cards.

Vital Records Office

You may contact the county or state vital records office if you need to order death certificates after some time has passed since a person’s death. The county office is the most likely to have the certificate on file if a death occurred within the previous few months. After a few months, you’ll probably find it at the state department as well.

A Third-Party Company

Third-party companies can assist with obtaining a death certificate in Texas. TX-DPS Records, for example, is one of the most popular and easiest to use third-party services for obtaining death certificates. On your behalf, the TX-DPS Records will request certified or explanatory copies of the death certificate you request.

What do you need to place an order?

Simply tell TX-DPS where the death occurred, when it took place, why you’re requesting copies of the death certificate, your name and relationship to the deceased, and the name and gender of the deceased. We’ll send you a copy of the Texas death certificate in as little as one day with the one-day rapid processing and shipping option.

The entire procedure, from start to finish, is handled online. It’s completely hassle-free!

Place Your Order for a Birth or Death Certificate with TX-DPS Records

Losing a loved one is never easy and you may be overwhelmed by the next steps you need to take. When it comes to dealing with a loved one’s final wishes, financial records, and benefits, this is especially true.

However, having a death certificate is important in order to take those next steps after they’ve passed away. You need an easy process to obtain a death certificate, which is why TX-DPS Records is here for you!

If you live in Texas, TX-DPS Records will obtain a death certificate copy for you without requiring you to travel to any state offices or monitor the process yourself. Our ordering process is simple, easy to follow, and only takes a few minutes to complete.

What distinguishes TX-DPS as the more trustworthy and easy way to order death certificates in Texas?

Your Information is Safe With Us

We are an officially approved service agent for the state of Texas, so you can be confident that your private information is safe with us. Our secure ordering procedure is carried out only by authorized experts and sent to the appropriate agencies (or authorities) that are charged with issuing the requested certificate.

Here at TX-DPS, we take pride in the security and confidentiality of all data we receive. Everything from your credit card number to personal information like your driver’s license and Social Security number is encrypted while being sent through a secure network connection so that no one but you can access them!

We Are Fast and Reliable

TX-DPS Records online website is the only place you need to go for fast and secure death certificates! We process orders directly with issuing government agencies and our costs are lower than other sources on the market.

Our one-business-day delivery option is ideal for situations where documents must be received immediately, such as in the event of an emergency. We provide this expedited shipping service for a little extra fee that gets your essential record to you within one day!

For a quick and dependable service, place your death certificate order online with us today. We also can help you obtain a birth certificate! When you need vital records in Texas, you can rely on TX-DPS.