How to Request a Death Certificate in California

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Losing a loved one is always a devastating ordeal. Between dealing with your grief and handling all the things like contacting family and arranging a funeral, there are many things to handle. Individuals who have never been through the process often don’t realize how many practical tasks must be sorted through in the aftermath of their loss. Many things you’ll have tend to require a copy of the death certificate.

Several entities expect you to contact them to alert them to a loved one’s passing. This includes:

  • Some government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Financial institutions

None of these organizations will accept you telling them that your loved one has passed and that you’re now in charge of handling their affairs. Instead, they will require proof of your loss through a valid death certificate.

A California death certificate is simply an official document that provides proof that your loved one has passed away. While a variety of official organizations will require proof of a person’s passing in the form of a death certificate, only a limited group of people are allowed to request a copy from the State of California formally. People who are legally entitled to request a death certificate from the state include the following:

  • The parent or legal guardian of the registrant.
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Spouses
  • Domestic partners

The best way to get a copy of your loved one’s California death certificate is to contact your local state’s department of vital records. The simplest way to make this request is by sending a letter to the agency. Details you should include in the letter include:

  • Your loved one’s complete name
  • Their gender
  • The date of their passing
  • The zip code of the place of death
  • The reason you require the death certificate
  • Your name and address
  • Your relationship with your loved one
  • Your signature
  • A self-addressed and fully stamped envelope

Once you have the death certificate, you will have to contact the organizations who need it so they can reconcile the passing in their accounts if they need an actual copy of it or need to see it so that they can verify your loved one’s death.