Certified Copies of Death Certificate Information

What are They?

Certified copies of death certificate are issued by the governmental office in charge of vital statistics in the county in which a death occurs.  They possess a seal and/or are printed on special bonded paper.   Photocopies are usually not acceptable for legal purposes, but may be used for personal reference. 

How Many are Needed?

A quantity is not automatic.  It will depend on the number of assets and other factors for each individual.  It is recommended that one secure a few more than originally calculated as unanticipated circumstances for need can often arise.

Who Needs Them?

Listed below are organizations or circumstances that will require a certified copy of death certificate:

  • Insurance Policies: Most insurance companies require a certified copy of death certificate.  It is best to consult with your insurance agent or company on any additional requirements.  If the decedent is listed as a beneficiary on another person’s life insurance policy, it is best to change the beneficiary to avoid future complications.
  • Banks/Safety Deposit Boxes: It is best to consult with your banker, however, it is recommended that you secure one certified copy for each bank that accounts and/or safety deposit boxes are held with.
  • Stocks or Bonds:  It is best to consult with your broker for assistance.
  • Real Estate Titles/Transactions:  You may want to consult with your attorney or realtor for assistance.
  • Vehicle Title Transactions:  It is best to consult with the Illinois Secretary of State, Motorist Services.  You can find more detailed information at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
  • Boat/Snowmobile Title Transactions: It is best to consult with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources or www.dnr.illinois.gov.
  • Employer/Pension Benefits: It is best to contact employer(s) of the decedent to ascertain what benefits are available if any, and what is required to help process pensions, insurance and any other benefits.
  • Probating of a will: It is recommended to consult with your attorney.
  • Credit Cards / Loans: It is best to notify credit card companies and lending institutions directly.  It is also recommended to inquire about the possibility of credit life insurance.
  • Utilities / Cellular phone contracts: Most utilities companies will not require a certified copy of death certificate; however, a cellular phone company may require it in order to terminate a contract.
  • Attorney / Trust Officer:  It is wise to meet with your attorney and/or trust officer for guidance as they may be able to best determine the number of certified copies needed for legal matters.

How to Order Them?

For your convenience, Adduci-Zimmy Funeral Home will secure the quantity of death certificates on your behalf.  The cost will depend on the jurisdiction of vital statistics where a death occurred.  In most of Cook County, the charge is $ 17.00 for the first copy and  $ 6.00 for each one thereafter. The initial charge for the first copy is charged each time they are requested.  For future needs, Adduci-Zimmy Funeral Home is happy to order additional copies with payment in advance, or, you can order directly at:

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