Certified Death Certificates, when do you need one?

When do you need a certified death certificate and when do you need a photo copy?

A Certified Death Certificate is a legal document that is issued by the State Office of Vital Records in the county in which the death occurred. Certified death certificates are required to take care of final details related to any accounts, insurance policies, to transfer property, and to make official notifications. Many organizations require certified copies of the death certificate in order for survivors to receive benefits; photocopies will most likely not be accepted. THE DEATH CERTIFICATE FEE IS $20.00 PER COPY.

Only the immediate family members (the spouse, children, parents, siblings or grandparents), legal guardian or documented legal representative (attorney or executor to the estate) of the deceased are eligible to order death certificates. *Please note: power of attorney, be it medical or other, ceases at the time of death.

In order to obtain certified death certificates, you must be 18 years old or older and provide the following:
 Valid government issued picture I.D. that shows your signature
 Completed and signed application (included in this folder)
 Appropriate payment ($20.00 per copy) – Personal checks are NO longer accepted. Please make payment for certified death certificates with either a money order, cashier’s check or with a Visa or MasterCard. Cash is accepted when applying in person.

 Provide proof of your relationship to the decedent (a BIRTH CERTIFICATE that links the applicant to the deceased or a MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE that links the surviving spouse to the deceased. All documents provided must be originals. Note: Listed as the informant on the death certificate is not sufficient proof of relationship).
OR
 Provide proof of your legal interest (for example, a will that links the deceased to the person with legal interest, an insurance policy, a court order of guardianship, a title of personal or real property listing the deceased and applicant as co-owners, or a document that establishes a legal interest in the record).

If the death occurred in Maricopa County, you may visit the Maricopa County Office of Vital Records at 4419 E. Main Street, Suite 105, Mesa, AZ 85205 (South East corner of Greenfield & Main Street, next to 99₵ store). If the death occurred in Pinal County, you may visit the Pinal County Office of Vital Records at the San Tan Valley location: 36235 N. Gantzel Road, San Tan Valley, AZ 85142.

WHEN YOU ORDER CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE, WE SUGGEST CALLING THEIR OFFICE AHEAD OF TIME TO VERIFY IF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE HAS BEEN CERTIFIED AND IS READY TO BE PRINTED, AND TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PURCHASE THE DEATH CERTIFICATES.

The state of Arizona issues each family 1 free certified death certificate for Social Security. Additionally, veterans will receive 1 free copy for veteran’s benefits. Both of these will be stamped in red, “For Government Use Only.” Both of these MUST BE REQUESTED along with your order, they will not automatically be included in your order.
YOU MAY REQUIRE CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR THE FOLLOWING:

_____ Insurance Claims (Life Insurance Policies) – Insurance companies will require an original certified copy, and they will keep that copy.
_____ Social Security – Arizona issues each family 1 free certified death certificate for Social Security. Contact Social Security (1-800-772-1213) to see if they require this certified death certificate sent to them, as each case varies.
_____ Veteran’s Benefits – Veterans will receive 1 free copy for veteran’s benefits. Contact the VA (1-800-827-1000) to see if they require this certified death certificate sent to them, as each case varies.
_____ Bank Accounts, Safe Deposit Boxes & Credit Unions – Banks will most likely take a photo copy of the certified copy.
_____ Credit Cards – Credit card companies will most likely take a photo copy of the certified copy.
_____ Titles & Deeds to Property – Call to verify if they require an original or a photo copy.
_____ Vehicle Registration & Title Changes (Auto, RV, Boat, Cycle, etc.) – They will most likely take a copy of the certified copy.
_____ Union Benefits, 401K & Employee Benefits – Call to verify if they require an original or a photo copy.
_____ Probate of Will – They will most likely need the original certified death certificate.
_____ Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Investment Accounts, Brokerage Accounts – Call to verify if they require an original or a photo copy.
_____ Home Mortgage(s) – Call to verify if they require an original or a photo copy.
_____ Pension, IRA, or other Retirement Benefits – Each of these will require the original certified death certificate.
_____ Filing of all taxes – Federal, State & Local – Current tax year will require the original certified death certificate.
_____ Attorneys, CPA, Financial Advisor – Call to verify if they require an original or a photo copy.
_____ Personal requests from family members
_____ Your own files
_____ TOTAL # OF CERTIFIED DEATH CERTIFICATES TO PURCHASE
Please note: Additional copies could be required and copies may not be needed in every case. Consult your financial/legal advisor for further assistance in determining the quantity required for your specific circumstance.
     
LOCATIONS TO OBTAIN CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE
MARICOPA COUNTY – 602-506-6805
Office of Vital Registration
4419 E. Main Street, Suite 105
Mesa, AZ 85205
(South East corner of Greenfield & Main Street – next to 99₵ store)

Office of Vital Registration
3221 N. 16th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Office of Vital Registration
3003 W. Thomas Road, Suite 200B
Phoenix, AZ 85017

PINAL COUNTY – 520-866-7318
Pinal County Health Department
41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, Bldg. 15
Maricopa, AZ 85138

Pinal County Health Department
36235 N. Gantzel Road,
San Tan Valley, AZ 85142

*Note: If you need additional copies of the CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE and it has been longer than a year from the date of death, you will need to contact the State Office of Vital Records located at 1818 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007 (602-364-1300) as they are the only office in Arizona to have those records.

Information provided by
Candy Greff, Owner of Sonoran Skies Mortuary
5650 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85205
P (480) 985-4900
F (480) 985-6828
M (480) 231-7568

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