Q:

How do you access free public death records?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many different ways to access public death records, but the easiest way to obtain a death certificate is to do so from the mortuary or funeral home of the deceased. Additionally, you may contact the local or state office of vital records to obtain a death certificate.

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Full Answer

Each state has its own laws concerning the issuance of death certificates. Generally, states offer two separate kinds of death certificates: informational and certified. Certified copies of death certificates usually contain an official stamp or seal of the state or local government that issues the death certificate. Official death certificates are typically necessary to conduct official business on behalf of the deceased and to manage the final affairs of the deceased, such as managing the deceased person's property. Often, state and local governments require a small fee to obtain certified death certificates, and the amount of this fee varies among states.

Informational death certificates are often available to anyone who requests them, whereas certified death certificates are only available to the deceased person's survivors or those who have had financial dealings with the deceased. Informational death certificates usually do not require any fees and are the most useful for personal record keeping.

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