I wouldn’t go ordering a ton or even 25 death certificates right off the bat. Like suggested, try to find out in advance who will need an original death certificate. We did not have to send death certificates to the credit reporting agencies, her credit histories all say “deceased”. That might be because we notified the one outstanding creditor of her death & faxed them paperwork showing my husband is executor of her trust. We were able to go in person to a few places & show them the DC, if they needed a copy they made a photocopy. We had 5 copies and still have 2 left. If the person doesn’t have many assets, you won’t need a lot of death certificates. They are $25 a pop here so we would have never ordered 25 copies!!!
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Reply to worriedinCali

I ordered10 this time going through probate, 5 market funds and stocks, closing a business and selling a house. I only used 4 but I had to send more scanned copies. If you have to go through probate, you will use fewer. That is because the court letter can do away with a lot of origional copies. Some companies will ask you for bank medallion signatures or notarized statements.

Ask the funeral director where you would go to obtain more. It is usually in your town. With another family member, this is what I had to do. It was a simple process.
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Reply to MACinCT

Make a list of all outfits that you think might need a DC then phone them and ask what they will need or want - an original or copy or any at all. Don’t forget the DMV. That should nail it down. That’s what I did. That nailed it down. 

At least in my case the funeral outfit notified SS of the death who notified Medicare who in turn notified insurance companies and the number of required DC’s was diminished. Couple times I faxed a copy of the original.
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Reply to qmnpxl

In New Jersey I also needed the letter from Surrogate Office stating I was Executrix of the Will .
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Reply to LisaNJ

I'm dreading this process. My dad's money is so spread out.
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Reply to Babs75

A ton. So many more than you thought you would need. Now everyone wants one and no one will accept a copy. So for almost anything. To take over title on car, to collect on accounts, to file for executor or to collect on any part of inheritance. For every bank. For every entity you can conceivably think of. Do know, however, that you are going to be doing this, if you are acting as executor, for some time, as far as that goes, and that you can get more from the county recorder when you need them. I will be starting with 20 when and if, and I know. It's costly. So I would say start with 10 to 15 unless you know you are going to be dealing with housing, bills, credit cards, the cancelling of anything from cell phone account on. Just think it out as much as you can. You can get more. But as some have observed, it can cost more as well.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

I've ordered 15 death certificates.

Review for accuracy! My husband's listed MD rather than MA as his birth state. Cremation date and date-of-death were listed as same on the cremation certificate issued by the crematory.

If I hadn't noticed the mistakes immediately, I would have been charged a rework fee that equals the price of the certificates just ordered. I was advised of this by the funeral home. The funeral home has paid for the corrections.

It is also recommended a death certificate be mailed to the 3 major credit reporting agencies due to fraud. The notice should state "Deceased. Do Not Issue Credit".

In settling my mom's estate, I was asked to produce Dad's death certificate. He died several years earlier! I had one certified copy remaining in my records.

The mortgage, all health and life, auto, homeowner insurances, retirement plan, Social Security, IRS all need a death certificate. Several death certificates will be required for Medicaid.

The first certificate is $25.00 plus $5.00 for each additional if ordered at once. If I need more, the first will cost $25.00 and each additional will be $5.00.

My husband died almost 3 weeks ago, so I'm starting to put together letters/envelopes so when the certs. arrive, I can move forward. So far 2 have asked me to fax the death certificate so this will be $10.00 less.
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Reply to Houseplant102
igloo572 Oct 11, 2019
houseplant102 - 15 is an ideal #. Your spot-on there!

Also folks, if you order them after the initial group, it could take w...e...e...k..s to get. Easily at least 30-45 days.

If something comes up & you have to have them like now, state will do it but places a hefty $$ overnight / expeditor fee.
If there’s a mortgage, between what mortgage co wants and all accounts tied to the property need to close out or shut off stuff, that’s probably at least 5 - 6 original death certificates. For me, 2 of 3 utilities companies wanted an original Letters Testamentary and copy of my drivers license as well..... & 1 account wanted to be paid up & current to close (so this utility would never have to do a claim against the estate filing for those last bills). If there’s a house,& you need utilities on, if at all possible you want to have utilities move over to “estate of” rather than close out. If it’s all current & on Executor auto pay from local bank, they will probably do this & without a new account / new deposit.
As Barb and igloo eluded to - a lot depends on how many accounts and how complicated the closing of the deceased individuals estate might be.

When I had to mail a cert, the entity would require an “original” - which would be the official certified copy. Lots of times when presenting the cert in person the entity would make a copy.

My father passed before my mother and there were several accounts that required the official copy just to take my fathers name off the account and make my mother the sole owner. My mothers estate was much simpler to probate - at least, in regards to the death certificate aspect of it all.

In both cases I got ten copies of the death cert through the funeral home. I was left with one copy - which I wanted to have just in case... in my fathers case. In my mothers case I think I had 3 or 4 left over.

Still, I found it better - more time effective as well as cost effective to order the certificates all at once through the funeral home - estimating the need a little high vs having to order more later on myself.
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Reply to Rainmom

I’ll join the chorus for 10 minimum plus 1 for each bank. Ordering initially is the cheapest. Doing later costs way way more and could take 30-60 days to get.
if they died fully owing a home, other property or land, I’d add another 5 for each. Seems to be everything associated with property, like each utility company, cable, insurance carrier, will likely want (& keep) an original death certificate to close out an account.

If probate is going to be opened, I’d suggest waiting to contact all - if possible- until the Executor named & get issued their Letters Testamentary. Executor can then mail or in-person, go and change / close accounts and put into Estate Of or Executors name. This way you probably won’t have to deal with putting up a deposit or other drama on having a “new” account..... it’s renaming an existing account & your Letters Testamentary gives you that authority.

Any “homeowner” insurance will cancel - like flood, HO, windstorm. If you want the property insured, you’ll in my experience need to speak with an independent insurance agent to get some sort of dwelling policy placed. They are specialty underwriting so not cheap.

If investment stuff, I’d speak with the FA to see just how many needed.
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Reply to igloo572

Leada, I remember the funeral home suggested i have 10 copies of the death certificates. I still have 8 left each for each parent who had passed 3+ years ago. In my area, the banks only wanted to see the original and made a copy of same, returning the original back to me.

Better to have some left over than not enough.
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Reply to freqflyer

I always get a minimum of 10, 7 short, 3 long. Some states and investment firms require a long form.
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Reply to DollyMe
Riverdale Oct 11, 2019
You are the only one who mentioned long vs short ones. Which places specifically require the different version?
Sstart with one original for each bank/brokerage/retirement account. It is generally cheaper and easier to order many more than needed through the funeral home at the time of death than to get more later. I think we ordered 30 or so, because my mother had many, many MANY different bank accounts.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
freqflyer Sep 23, 2019
Barb, my parents also had many different bank accounts. Must have been at a time when banks were handling out free toasters and waffle irons when you open a new account.... [sigh].
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