The amount of time it takes to acquire a death certificate varies from state to state; in some cases, it can take as long as two months. Each state has its own guidelines and regulations for releasing death certificates, and a local courthouse is the best source for more information. Usually the funeral home handling the deceased person's funeral and burial will request a death certificate on behalf of the family.
Another factor that may delay the process of receiving a death certificate is how the person died. If suspected foul play is involved, the certificate can take substantially longer to acquire, most likely until after all investigations are completed.