How do I obtain a death certificate?

A death certificate is required by law after a person dies. Two parties must complete the death certificate – a medical professional (either a physician, coroner, or medical examiner) who will certify the death by noting the cause of death, time of death and the identity of the deceased; and a licensed funeral director, who will confirm that the body was properly handled.

The funeral director then files the completed death certificate with the county health department. This document is necessary for making funeral arrangements and handling personal, financial, and legal business on behalf of the person who died and his or her estate.