What Are Death Records? Obtaining a copy of a death record is a fairly simple and straightforward process. Death records must be obtained through your state or local vital records office, as there is currently no national database for retrieving such records. However, there are certain conditions that must be met before you can obtain a copy of a death record. Who can Obtain a Death Record? Most local and state vital records offices have clear rules on obtaining death records. In fact, most state agencies will only release a death record for an individual who can prove to be a direct-line descendant of the person in question. A direct-line descendant is the spouse, parent or child of the deceased. Other persons who are eligible to receive a copy of a death record are those who have documented lawful right or claim, a documented medical need, or a court order handed down from a state court. In order to request a copy of a death record, the person in question must provide proof of their relationship to the deceased. The vital records office will then likely request a photo ID, such as a passport or a driver’s licenses, as well as two other letters or statements that show the applicant’s current name and address. Often times, the vital records office will accept such documentation as a utility bill or letter from a governmental agency. Although each state will have its own set of rules regarding the release of death records, the above information is generally commonplace. Are There any Exceptions? For individuals interested in searching for death records for genealogy purposes, the process of obtaining a death record is not quite that complicated. However, most state and local vital records offices will only release death records if the individual has been deceased for at least 50 years (this time frame may vary slightly from state to state). At this point, you can receive death certificates for genealogy purposes. Most vital records offices will require that you request the death certificate in writing, and that you provide a good deal of information to facilitate the search. Be as accurate as possible when requesting the death certificate, and if you don’t know exact dates and locations, you can estimate. For example, if you don’t know the exact date of the individual’s death, you can provide a span of years to the vital records office to guide them in their search. Some of the information you may be asked to provide includes: the date of request, the full name of the deceased, the sex of the person, the date of death, the city and/or town of death, your relationship to the deceased, the purpose of your request, and your contact information. The vital records office will also ask you to pay a small fee to cover administrative costs. Online Resources There are many websites that may be able to help you in your search for death records. They can provide you with the proper information and can greatly facilitate the process so you can receive your death records in a reasonable amount of time. With over 2.1 billion records, http://archives.kr.cx is your complete solution for tracing your family tree as far back as possible: • Find birth, death, marriage, divorce and historic vital records from one easy-to-use search interface! • Discover new connections to your family tree with cemetery listings, obituaries, burial and military records, surname histories, and more. • Great for people at all levels - whether you're just starting out or have been doing genealogy for years! This quality publication has been brought to you by VelocitySpark.net. You may freely redistribute this documentation in its original condition digitally. This document is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek services of competent professionals in legal, business, accounting and finance field.
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