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How Many Death Certificates Should I Purchase?

Video Transcript

How many death certificates you should purchase, the actual number of death certificates, really varies greatly by family. If the person has life insurance, then each life insurance company or policy would require its own certified copy of a death certificate. Any banks or accounts that are solely in the individual’s name would require a death certificate. Any pension or 401k plans would require its own copy of a death certificate. These are the types of things and places that would require a death certificate, so it varies greatly depending on the type of estate the deceased person has.

Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

The average is 8-12 originals. However it is very different for every person and dependent on how many assets the deceased had in their name. Assets to consider include insurance policies, credit life insurance, employer benefits, vehicle titles, real estate titles, stocks & bonds, income tax returns, social security, utilities, financial institutions, and attorneys.

- Abby Schilling
Funeral Director in Richfield, MN


It depends on the number of items still in the name of the deceased. The average needed ranges from 6-10 certificates.

- Jessica Watts
Funeral Director in Jacksonville, FL


We recommend 10 copies. The deceased’s assets will dictate how many will be needed. The family will need to review assets and determine the actual amount needed. We also recommend order a couple of extra than you think you will require.

- C. A. Bankston
Funeral Director in Fort Worth, TX


That depends on how much estate planning has been done before the time of death. Ten certificates is the average for most families. More copies can always be purchased at any time directly through the registrar that is in charge of the region where the person passed. Most times this can be done online.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC


It depends on the individual estate of the deceased. Your funeral director can provide you with a checklist of who might need a death certificate.

- Laura Anderson
Funeral Director in Minneapolis, MN