Death Certificate ** update in OP
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 2/13/2013 by Kate2Kate in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 175,371
November 2004
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:35:35 PM

I am really sorry to ask this question but I do not want to ask anyone close to me or in front of anyone at the moment. My husband will pass very soon. He bravely fought a terminal Brain Tumor.

Who do you get the death certificate from and how many originals should I ask for. I would rather find out this information now, instead of after in the shock of his death, and having to comfort my 9 year old.

If anyone has been through this before and knows something that might help to know I would appreciate the help.


My husband has not passed but I wanted to thank all of you who shared your stories and suggestions with me. I have a little bit better idea what I am looking at. I know it will be painful it has been so far and when he passes I expect it to be worse. It is heartbreaking to see how many have lost loved ones. 2Peas is truly a great community.



PeaNut 439,705
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:38:39 PM
I am sorry that I cannot answer your question. I hope the time you and your son have left with your DH will be peaceful and filled with love.

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PeaNut 175,521
November 2004
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:38:41 PM
I'm so sorry about your husband. I remember you posting about him but it's been a while.

Where I live (California) the doctor or hospice faxes something to the county and the county issues it within a few hours. Ask the hospice worker, your hospital social worker or chaplain how it works where you live.

As far as how many copies to get, you would also need to know how many they will issue for free. I would get the max, and then you will probably have to purchase them if you need originals.

Again, I'm very sorry.


PeaNut 8,699
December 2000
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:40:36 PM
Katie--I don't have any idea about the death certificate but I wanted to say I'm so sorry about your husband. My sister's husband is in the final stages of his battle with a brain tumor as well so your post tugs at my heart. Prayers for your husband and for you and your family.

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PeaNut 350,195
December 2007
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:41:06 PM
If I remember correctly, the death certificate came from the funeral director, and they gave me several copies. Get as many as you can, because you will need them.

I'm sorry about your husband. You sound strong, and I hope you can stay that way for your daughter. Sending P&PT.


Bad Wolf

PeaNut 191,892
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:41:56 PM
I'm very sorry for what you are going through, when my grandfather died we got them through the funeral home and had 8 or ten. We needed to provide them to credit card companies, life insurance company, banks, basically anywhere he had a financial dealing that would need closure.

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PeaNut 80,420
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:44:23 PM
When my dad died, I think the funeral home director asked my mom how many she wanted/needed and he got them for her. I can't remember how many she got, but she got several, and still has one or two in the file cabinet.


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PeaNut 145,006
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:48:44 PM
I'm so sorry...


PeaNut 11,212
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:54:23 PM
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this at such a painful time. My dad just passed away last month and I ordered 3 copies of his death certficate. So far I have only needed one. His bank wanted one to release his name from the account. You will need certificates for mortgage companies and to change the deed to your house. I'd say to take guess as to how many you need, you can always order more. The mortuary ordered the certificates for me, then I picked them up there.

I pray your husbands passing will be peaceful and you will have the strength you need.


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PeaNut 226,011
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:57:11 PM
In my county, you can go in person to the Health District. It's $18 per original certificate. When my Dad died, I got 6 original certificates.


PeaNut 281,401
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:00:52 PM
When my dad passed the funeral home gave us the death certificate but we needed 7 or8 and we had to order them from our Vital Statistics office.

I am sorry to hear of your husbands illness. I cannot imagine your grief.



PeaNut 175,371
November 2004
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:02:34 PM
I want to thank everyone for the replies, information, prayers, and good thoughts. I knew if I came here I would get the information that I needed quickly. I am going try to get some sleep but I will check back in the morning.

For those praying and sending good thoughts my husbands name is Dave, and my sons name is Sam and I am Katie. I appreciate all positive thought. At this point I just want my husband at peace.

Thank you,

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PeaNut 201,774
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:03:29 PM
I am so, so sorry that your husband is losing his battle. I too remember when you first posted about it.

When my husband died, someone else ordered the death certificates for me ... I don't remember who. But I had about a dozen and I think I still have one or two left now.

You can always order more from the county if you need them. Same place as birth and marriage certificates. Note, you may need some of those, too. I had to prove we'd been married a few times.

Hugs to you and your son and the rest of your family.

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PeaNut 857
June 1999
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:06:02 PM
I am so sorry for what your family is going through.

The funeral home helped me with all of these things when my dad recently passed - they asked me questions that helped us determine how many originals we would need. I ended up getting 12 - they were not expensive, about $5 each, if I remember correctly.



PeaNut 39,484
June 2002
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:08:48 PM
I am so sorry. The funeral home will help you with that. From my understanding, you will need them to resolve bank accounts, life insurance, etc., so get multiple copies. When my SIL passed away in CA, they were $14 each.



PeaNut 146,748
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:11:49 PM
When my sister died, my dad was given the death certificates from the funeral home. they asked him how many copies he needed.

If you haven't already, talk to the funeral director, they can help you with resources.

prayers for you and your family

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PeaNut 52,307
October 2002
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:12:00 PM
When my DH died, they were expensive. I think I got 3, I called around to see WHO had to have the ORIGINAL in their possession. I think only one kept it. The others for the most part, I just had to take it in to the office in person, they made a copy and put a note on it that they saw the original. It was a pain and took a while but I just couldn't afford to have that many originals.

I'm sorry, I was 8 when my father died so have some understanding about what you and your child are going through now and will be going through later.

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PeaNut 346,032
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:21:42 PM
When my dad died last March the funeral home took care of that. I don't remember how many exactly my mom got, but we erred on the side of plenty. Yes, she could always get more, but it was easier to make sure she had plenty to start with; I think she got somewhere between 6 and 10.

Hugs to you, and I wish for peace for all of you.

Laurel Jean
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PeaNut 76,877
March 2003
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:22:10 PM
Just from my own experience from my mom's passing, I would get at least 10 copies. You'd be surprised at how many you're going to need.

If you find you need more, the funeral home you use can provide you with more.

I am so sorry for your situation. It must be such a difficult time for you. ((hugs))


PeaNut 225,338
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:22:58 PM
Thinking of you, your husband and son during this difficult time. (((Hugs))) and prayers.


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PeaNut 266,636
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:23:21 PM

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PeaNut 165,323
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:28:09 PM
I am so very sorry for what your family is going through.

Sending lots of hugs and prayers.


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PeaNut 174,226
October 2004
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:29:42 PM
I am so sorry. Prayers for Dave, Katie and Sam.

Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
August 2002
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:37:45 PM
I'm so sorry
When my DH I think I needed about 10 of them. Life insurance, bank accounts and I even had to provide one to one of the utility companies to have the account transferred into my name. My DH died in another state so it took a few weeks for me to get them but the funeral home took care of getting them for me.


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PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:38:41 PM
I am so very sorry. Your family is in my thoughts.

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PeaNut 224,413
September 2005
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:39:42 PM
I am so sorry your family is going through this.

As others have said, the funeral home can help you with getting them. When my dad died, I think my mom got at least 10. You'll be surprised at how many things you'll need them for.

Prayers for you and your family.



PeaNut 441,182
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:42:50 PM
I'm so sorry. Feel free to Peamail me if you have other questions like this. My DH died 5 years ago, but all of the aftermath is still very fresh in my mind. Please remember one thing: Most anything that you are worrying about taking care of now can wait. The only thing that you'll need to worry about quickly is the funeral arrangements. Take care of you and your child. You've suffered through a terrible journey, and your body is probably going to tell you somehow that you need to take some time to get the strength up to be able to deal with all of the other stuff.

The funeral home will help you with a lot of the things you will need to get started. My ILs made the arrangements with the funeral home because the services were in his home town. I could have gotten the death certificates from the funeral home, but I ordered them through this place instead. It's the only place that you can get them from other than the funeral home. VitalChek

It will take a while (up to 2 months) before you will receive the death certificates. I ordered 10 and didn't use all of them, but since you have children you will likely use more than I needed. You'll find that the oddest things will require one. Very few things require the original, and a lot of things you think will need them don't.

The funeral home also filed the initial paperwork with the Social Security Administration. The SSA will then contact you by mail with a scheduled phone appointment where you will confirm that the information they have is accurate. You will then have a second appointment, again by phone, to finalize their paperwork. They will notify you at the 2nd appointment what benefits you are eligible. As spouse, you'll only receive a small amount (>$400) by check after your second appointment. You will not be eligible for any other benefits. Your daughter should be eligible for dependent benefits. Again, they will tell you what you are eligible for.

The funeral home will also file the obituary with the newspaper. Sometimes they will write it for you, but I think most families write their own.

It takes a long time to take care of all of the paperwork that you'll have to do. Here's what I recommend.
1) Get 3-4 big shoe boxes or plastic tubs.
2) Put them by the door that you come into your house.
3) Box 1 is for the days you don't even have the energy to sort through the mail. It can wait.
4) Box 2 is for bills that you have to take care of each month.
5) Box 3 is for anything related to your husband.
---You may want 2 boxes for this at first: one for sympathy cards, one for paperwork.
---The one for sympathy cards can switch to one for magazines, professional memberships, or anything else with only your husbands's name on it.
6) You may want another box for mail you want to eventually look at but don't have the time for/energy for.
7) Then put a trash can there too. Junk mail goes into it.
8) I wouldn't throw out any mail for the first 3 months because it is very easy to accidentally throw away something when you're just not thinking.

If you have someone else who can manage your bills for awhile, let them.

Life insurance will require a death certificate, so you can't do anything about that until you receive them.

You will need to take care of some things for your child, like making sure you get a second contact in case of emergencies, putting someone in place that can take care of medical issues if you aren't available, etc. If the school has counseling resources, consider taking advantage of them. Let people help with transportation, taking your child somewhere so you can have some alone time, etc. Children deal with grief very differently than adults, and often they want to get back into a routine soon after a loss of a parent.

Hopefully there is a will for anything that isn't in both of your names.

If something is in both of your names (like your house), it can wait. You are still the owner, so it's not important to remove his name from those things.

If you can afford it, don't worry about cancelling a cell phone, a magazine subscription, etc. You will probably not have enough energy to deal with more than a couple of things per week, and that's optimistic. It probably took me about 9 months to take care of those things, and I just had his name removed from the house last year.

There are a lot of widows on Two Peas, so feel free to seek advice here. Everyone's experience is different. I have a friend who volunteers for an online support group that may be helpful to you at some point. They actually check to make sure you are a widow before letting you post to their forums. Other sites and in-person support groups do not usually do such checks, so be aware.

This was a lot more than you asked for. I've unfortunately had several friends who also lost their spouses before age 50 since my DH died, so I've given this advice several times before. Again, feel free to contact me privately. I'll be thinking of you and your family over the coming weeks.


PeaNut 43,958
July 2002
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:44:06 PM
Sending cyberhugs and prayers your way. I'm so sorry your husband may pass away soon. My mom died 3 weeks ago, so I'm in the midst of this now. The funeral home ordered the death certificates for us and we had them in a few days. They were $10 each for an original death certificate (in NY). We ordered ten. We have needed them for life insurance policies, retirement plans, social security, even the credit bureau, as well as for the lawyer doing probate. While my mom was in hospice, my sister and I started gathering photos and sharing stories. Those memories are now very precious. I also learned during that time that my husband's cancer had returned, so your situation is very close to my heart. Love and grace to you.

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PeaNut 163,613
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:44:32 PM
In my county we can order those online
I think we go to Vital Statistics or Records. I believe they're $10
You'll need at least 10

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PeaNut 504,759
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:58:15 PM
So very sorry for your situation. Sending prayers your way.

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PeaNut 374,795
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Posted: 2/13/2013 10:03:46 PM
Sending love and strength to you all.

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Posted: 2/13/2013 10:17:07 PM
Thinking of you Katie.

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PeaNut 97,456
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Posted: 2/13/2013 10:22:41 PM
Oh, Katie, I'm so sorry to hear this. I have nothing to add to what you've already been told, but I remember your posts about your DH and I'm sorry you're going to lose him. I will keep you and your DS in my thoughts. I hope your DH's passing is peaceful. Via con Dios.

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PeaNut 92,987
June 2003
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Posted: 2/13/2013 10:24:39 PM
Depends on your State. When Mark died at Bethesda Naval Medical Center (1989), it was the State of Maryland's Health Department. When my father died in St. Johns-West Shore Hospital (1999), it was the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts.

One copy was "free" and additional copies costed a few bucks. I got 25 copies since doing it at one time was easier. I only had one extra when everything was done (all the filings).

But my husband was considered an Active Duty death, and there was a DD form that I could get as many copies as I needed that was used the same as a Death Certificate for a few places, like Federal Credit Unions associated with the military (to close his accounts and transfer the funds to me, there were three of them).

The DD form was within the same week, the Death Certificates where available about a month later.

Check you can check your state and see the information.

I am so very sorry that you are going through this, make the most of your moments left.

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PeaNut 198,947
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:18:11 PM
The funeral home files the death certificate and will order them for you. They are also available at your states vital records and usually your counties health department.

Usually you need to send an original to:
-the insurance company that handles the life insurance
-Social Security Administration
-Vehicle title transfer
-Retirement programs
-your bank
-I would order one extra for unexpected situations.

You may need death certificates for:
-Public records of the county your real estate is located (only if your husband owns real estate property)
-Veterans affairs office (this only if your husband spent ANY time in the military)
-Bank of America requires one

If anyone has been through this before and knows something that might help to know I would appreciate the help.

Ok, here goes and please forgive me if I am sharing too much or the wrong thing. Everything seems so sad and yet it needs to be done. I am going through this now with my fathers estate and the following is some of the things I wish I had known.
You should:
1. Locate the latest original will now

2. Read the will now

3. Hire an estate lawyer asap
-not sure who? Ask the bank official that usually handles estate accounts who she/he would use

4. Consider hiring a good accountant to help you filing the estate taxes and give you advice on how to handle the insurance and retirement accounts.

5. Ask the following about any additional potential death benefits (this is in addition to the other business transactions you will have with them)
-Retirement programs
-health insurance
-credit cards companies

6. If you plan to have an obituary, consider writing it now and have someone else handle turning it in. The funeral home may have a free online obituary system (for the everything you wanted to say in the newspapers obit, but didn't because of the cost)

7. Pick out an obit picture now if you want to use one.

8. Continue to pay your mortgage, car payments, electric, phone, phone and cable.

9. Don't pay any medical bills until your estate lawyer advises you to. It has to do with your state laws and probate. Ask the lawyer what bills should and should not be paid; this has to do with probate and your state laws.

10. A power of attorney is no longer valid after death and will not be accepted anywhere.

11. Locate any keys to the security box at the bank.

12. Email addresses, passwords AND the answers to the security questions should be written down now.

Lastly, if possible, ask your husband about his favorite memory of Sam and then his favorite memory of you. It will make sense later.

You,Dave and Sam are in my prayers.

Sugar Snap Pea

PeaNut 257,999
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:24:14 PM
I have no advice to add, but I am saying prayers for you, for your Dave and for Sam. I wish you strength and peace through this unbelievably difficult time.


PeaNut 288,074
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:33:08 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this.

The funeral home ordered our death certificates for us and helped us determine how many copies - I think we got 5 copies but ended up only needing two. The funeral home orders it from the county. The funeral director is VERY helpful and will walk you through pretty much most of what you need to do and will remind you of things you wouldn't have necessarily thought of.

I'm so sorry ((HUGS))

California girl living in Colorado

PeaNut 160,355
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:37:10 PM
My mom very recently passed, in California ( she was in hospice) and the mortuary we used for the cremation ordered them. We got 15 copies. EVERYONE and their brother needs one.

I am so sorry ou are dealing with this.

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PeaNut 82,675
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:38:36 PM
So sorry that you are going through this! Hugs! My dad died a few days ago. In my state we have to pay for each copy. We only ordered three. When my grandparents died, my aunt ordered 4 copies.

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PeaNut 138,583
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:48:56 PM

I am very sorry to hear this. You and your family have my sympathy and prayers. As for the death certificate, honestly I would only get a couple. When family members have pass previously, we had gotten like 6 copies, and only used one or maybe 2.


PeaNut 57,490
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:54:17 PM
Prayers for your family. Everyone else has covered the other questions. God bless you.

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PeaNut 169,795
September 2004
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Posted: 2/14/2013 12:31:47 AM

In Australia we have an office called Registrar of Birth, Deaths & Marriages in each state and it is was the title says.

All notifications are made to this office and they then can provide certificates as required (for a fee).

I would imagine that there would be some sort of central office in the state/county where you are that would provide this information for you.

Sorry you have to ask this question. Hugs to you and your family.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 359,333
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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:14:12 AM
I know for my mom she died in June and we didn't have her death certificate until October but they had to do an autopsy. I hope we get my grandma's much sooner!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 94,569
July 2003
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Posted: 2/14/2013 5:16:37 AM
I'm sorry for your impending loss.

Death certificates--it's hard to answer. Why? Because some places will take copies others won't. Get quite a few of them. Probably more than you think you need. Because anything you need to do will ask for one.

FYI--if you haven't done this you could also go to the funeral home and get those arrangements taken care of too. That would help you later on.



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PeaNut 176,832
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Posted: 2/14/2013 5:25:25 AM
Katie, I'm so sorry. My MIL just passed; my FIL needed a lot of copies.

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PeaNut 341,472
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Posted: 2/14/2013 6:01:59 AM
I am sorry for your news.
When my dad passed we ordered 7: for all the insurance companies, mortgage company, utilities , etc.

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PeaNut 151,172
June 2004
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Posted: 2/14/2013 7:19:05 AM
I think my grandmother got between 5 and 10 of them. I am so sorry about your husband.

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PeaNut 199,404
April 2005
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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:06:22 AM

Your family is in my prayers.

I'm so sorry.

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PeaNut 509,811
May 2011
Posts: 6,537
Layouts: 27

Posted: 2/14/2013 8:10:37 AM
I am so sorry. Lifting your dd, dh, and you in prayer.

As far as the death certificate, we handled that through the mortuary/funeral office and ordered what was needed for insurance etc for my brother for his expenses and for his son.

I'm so sorry. {hugs}

Child of God, follower of Jesus, and so thankful for His presence in my life <><
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PeaNut 7,143
October 2000
Posts: 3,702
Layouts: 0
Loc: IL

Posted: 2/14/2013 8:13:47 AM
Oh Katie, my heart is breaking for you, your husband, and your son. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

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