What Is a Death Certificate?

When you are born, your parents sign a birth certificate, providing a legal paper trail for your newfound existence. In the same way, when you die, your loved ones need to obtain an official death certificate to document your passing. These documents are like legal bookends to your life. A death certificate will include the cause, time, and location of death, as well as personal information about the deceased.

Why Do You Need a Death Certificate?

In short? It’s the law. All states require some sort of death registration. The main purpose is to provide legal proof of death. This is mandatory for filing a life insurance claim, getting access to the estate or pension benefits, and making funeral arrangements. If the deceased’s spouse chooses to remarry later on, a death certificate will allow them to do so.

There are also governmental reasons for death certificates. Public health officials use them to collect data and generate statistics about leading causes of death. Police or federal investigators may also use the death certificates as evidence when they suspect foul play. 

How to File for Death Registration in California

According to California law, the doctor who last saw the deceased must sign the death certificate within 15 hours of the death, declaring the date, time, and cause of death. You then need to file the death certificate with the local register of births and deaths within 8 days. This all needs to happen before you can have the body buried or cremated. Thankfully, California uses an electronic system that doctors, hospitals, and funeral directors all have access to. This makes it easy for Opal Cremation to assist you with the death registration process. If you have any further questions about the process, we are more than happy to help. You can also check out our more recent post: Death Certificates: Everything You Need to Know.

Opal Cremation Will Help You Obtain a Death Certificate

If you live in Southern California, Opal Cremation can guide you through every step of the post-death process. Once you’ve signed all the necessary paperwork, Opal will assume responsibility for your loved one’s body. We will obtain all necessary information and register the death with both the county and state. When this process is complete, we can order a copy of the death certificate on your behalf (expect 2-4 weeks for completion). At Opal, we believe in simplifying the cremation process so that you can focus on what matters most. Your deceased family member will get the respect they deserve and you’ll get the affordable support you need.

By Published On: June 23rd, 2021

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