Getting a Certified True Copy of a Death Certificate

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Getting a Certified True Copy of a Death Certificate

Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult and we are sorry for your loss. At times, whether it be for government, court, wills and estates, or insurance purposes, you may need to obtain and submit a certified copy of a death certificate. An Alberta death certificate outlines a death that took place in the province. Similarly, if an individual passes away outside of Canada, you may obtain his or her death certificate from an Canadian embassy or consulate in the country in which the death occurred. Sometimes you need a death certificate certified copy. This is a notarized exact copy of the death certificate that people can rely on. The notaries at Kahane Law Office’s Calgary location creates certified true copies of Divorce certificates by appointment or drop in.

Registration of Death

When a person passes away in Alberta, a physician completes a medical certificate of death at the time of death and provides it to a funeral director along with the deceased’s body. The medical certificate of death states the cause of death and the name of the attending physician. In order to register the death, a family member of the deceased or the funeral director completes a statement of death detailing the deceased’s information. If you need to provide the death certificate, sometimes a death certificate certified copy suffices.

Death Certificate

A death certificate contains details of an individual and their passing. For example,  the following information in relation to the deceased is on both the original death certificate and the death certificate certified copy:

  • full name;
  • sex;
  • age at the time of death;
  • place of death;
  • date of death;
  • marital status at time of death;
  • regular place of residence; and laslty
  • registration number of certificate and issuing date.

How To Order A Death Certificate?

If the death occurred in Alberta, the death certificate can be ordered from Alberta Vital Statistics through any Alberta Registries agent which will be mailed to the address you provided on your application. However, to order a death certificate, you must be an eligible individual. For instance, eligible individuals include:

  • an executor, personal representative or administer of the deceased’s estate;
  • an adult next-of-kin of the deceased individual including a spouse or partner;
  • a guardian or trustee of the deceased person;
  • a person with a court order in Alberta;
  • a person who was a joint tenant with the deceased; or, finally,
  • a lawyer representing any of the above-mentioned parties.

Lastly, if you meet the eligibility requirements, you must provide proof of your eligibility and photo identification in order to obtain a deceased’s death certificate.

Why Do I Need A Death Certificate Certified Copy?

In many instances, you will be required to submit a certified copy of a death certificate. This is instead of an original to act as a supporting document. These copies are almost always accepted in lieu of an original, therefore, they are easier to obtain and send. In other words, you save time and money. For example, you may need one to:

  • cease potential over payments with Service Canada;
  • cancel benefits the deceased receives from an employer;
  • determine if a legal representative of the deceased or the estate are eligible for survivor benefits from any Government of Canada programs, including:
    • in relation to old age security;
    • When dealing with the Canada pension plan;
    • receiving Alberta widow’s pension;
    • facilitate deaths involving the Worker’s Compensation Board of Alberta;
    • claiming employment insurance;
    • receiving allowances for survivors;
    • Canadian benefit for parents of young victims of crime;
    • canceling the deceased’s personal identification, namely:
      • passport;
      • secure certificate of Indian status;
      • permanent resident card or citizenship card; and
      • driver’s licence;
  • sell the home of the deceased person;
  • settle the outstanding taxes of the deceased individual with the Canada Revenue Agency;
  • close unused personal accounts or transfer accounts to a survivor, such as chequing and savings accounts, registered retirement income funds, utility accounts, credit cards and memberships or online accounts with reoccurring membership fees; and lastly
  • make a life insurance claim.

How To Obtain A Certified Copy Of A Death Certificate?

When asked to submit a death certificate, most institutions will require either the original document or a certified copy rather than a regular photocopy. You should submit a certified copy of the death certificate to avoid the risk of damaging or losing your original document.

Bring two pieces of valid identification (including one government-issued photo identification) along with the original death certificate to your appointment. Above all, do not alter or laminate the death certificate or it may be invalid.

We photocopy the death certificate while you wait. The certified copy of the death certificate is stamped, signed and sealed by an authorized individual, such as a lawyer or a notary public. After that, the authorized individual will compare the original death certificate to the photocopy, sign, seal and state a number of things. For example, it states:

  • his or her name;
  • his or her official title;
  • a written statement stating that the copy of the document is true; and lastly
  • the date that the document was certified.

Finally, ensure that the certified copy contains all the above-noted criteria or you may be required to resubmit your application.

Help With Certifying Death Certificates

Need a certified copy of a death certificate? We offer appointments, however if you are in the area, we are happy to see you on a walk-in basis. You may need to wait 5 – 10 minutes until a lawyer becomes available but we are happy to accommodate your schedule. To avoid wait times, you may make an appointment at our centrally located office. Feel free to reach us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 (or, if you live in Calgary,  403-225-8810 locally), or, similarly,  email us directly here today.