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Death Certificates

There are a lot of places online where you can get a fill-in death certificate form, but your executor needs to know that, in order to do their work, they’ll need CERTIFIED death certificates, which are available only from a county office of vital statistics.


Can’t you just imagine people filling out those online forms for someone they don’t like and gleefully spreading the word that so-and-so is dead?


Here’s an entry from After I Die: What My Executor Will Need to Know. It’s the final one I’ll share with you in these journal posts of mine. There’s no telling what I’ll be talking about next week.


Get at least 15 (maybe more) certified copies of death certificate.

The funeral home should be able to order them for you. Or you can order them from the county’s Vital Statistics Office (search for county court probate death certificates). NOTE: They won’t be available until at least 2 weeks after my death.  Sometimes it takes 4 to 6 weeks. Be patient.


         Date received__________


Note: The cost of these certificates vary a great deal from state to state. In Georgia, for instance, the first certificate will cost you $25. Additional certificates you order at that same time are $5 each.

If you run out of certificates, though, and need to order more, the first one will again cost you $25, plus $5 for others. So it’s better to order too many up front.


Can you see how this is important information for your executor to know? That’s why I put it in the book! Imagine someone ordering 5 certificates, only to find out they’ll need eleven. And then they find five more businesses that requires a certificate before they’ll cancel your account.


In Georgia, that means they’d pay $45 the first time, $50 with the next order, and $45 the third time around. That’s $140, compared to ordering 16 up front and paying $100.


Obviously, it’ll be different in other states (why aren’t these fees standardized?) so your executor will need to check the state where you died.


On that happy note, I’ll wish you a good week!


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