Prove it   Leave a comment

Death Certificates. When my mother died, the gentleman from the funeral parlor asked me how many death certificates I “wanted”.  Actually, I thought, I didn’t “want” any.  I quickly snapped out of contrarian-mode and asked what he recommended.  He said, one for every bank account and 5 was usually sufficient.  I got 10.  It was not enough.

It is not only bank accounts, but brokerage accounts, insurance policies, credit cards and all sorts of unexpected institutions and corporations that require an original death certificate and letters testamentary, which proves you are the executor. This “prove it” mentality on the part of institutions quickly snapped me out of the denial stage of grieving.

Death certificates are issued by the state in which the person died.  So, despite the fact that my mother lived in NJ, her death certificate was issued by NY since she died in a hospital there. Getting extras is always possible, but it is tedious and time consuming and can disrupt the flow if you are acting as executor.

Tips: Get 20. If you are running low, another option would be to include a self-addressed stamped envelope and ask the institutions that require it to return the original to you after they have verified the information.

Information found on this web site is for general informational purposes only based on personal experience and should not be construed as legal, tax or other professional advice. You should consult an experienced attorney , tax professional or financial advisor concerning your particular factual situation and any specific questions you may have.

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