How to Obtain a Death Certificate in New York

A death certificate is one of the most important legal documents in existence. Families may use death certificates to settle the affairs of the deceased, and a death certificate is the only legal record that documents a person’s death.

A death certificate contains many details about the deceased, and must carry the signature of an approved person before rendered official. If you have lost a family member recently, you may be in charge of preparing the death certificate. Below is how to obtain a death certificate in New York.

Information on a Death Certificate 

A deceased person’s death certificate must contain certain information. If you are in charge of preparing a death certificate, you will have to gather documentation on the following aspects of the deceased. 

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Spouse/partner’s name
  • Father’s name and birthplace
  • Mother’s name and birthplace
  • Social Security number
  • Veteran’s number
  • Education
  • Cause of death
  • Last known address

The state of New York uses the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death, rather than their own edition, according to a PBS article.

Who signs a death certificate? 

Generally, a funeral home or other person in charge of the deceased’s remains completes a death certificate. If you are in charge or gathering information to prepare a death certificate in New York, however, then you will have to do so quickly, by knowing how to obtain a death certificate in New York.

As part of the process, you will have to obtain the signature of one of the following. 

  • Certifying physician
  • Pronouncing and certifying physician
  • Medical examiner/coroner

An official signature on the death certificate by one of the three professionals mentioned above is required for the certificate to be considered official.

Getting Copies of a Death Certificate 

Here’s how to obtain a death certificate in New York if it has already been filed. You can request a copy of it. The form to fill out can be accessed online through the New York City Health Office of Vital Records. You can also request copies of the death certificate at the time that the death certificate is originally filled out.

Those who are legally allowed to obtain a copy of a death certificate according to the New York State Department of Health are listed below. 

  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Child of the deceased
  • Other persons who have a documented lawful right or claim
  • Other persons with a documented medical need
  • Other persons with a New York State court order

The fee to obtain a copy of a death certificate in NY is $30. Internet requests for death certificates usually take between four and ten days while requests made by mail can take up to 12 weeks.

If Your Loved One has Been Wrongfully Killed in New York 

If you are responsible for filling out a death certificate for your family member because of a wrongful death, you may have the right to take legal recourse. Call the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today if your loved one has been killed in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another person. You can reach us at 800-550-0000.

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