About Death Certificates

Certified copies of the death certificate are legal documents issued through city and town clerk offices located throughout the State and charged for by the State of Massachusetts.

Because they are legal documents, it is extremely important that you provide us with the correct information when we prepare the original certificate. Please note that photocopies without the raised seal from the issuing clerk’s office are not accepted as legal documents.

You do not need to provide the Social Security or Veterans Administration a certified copy of the death certificate to receive benefits. We notify these two organizations on your behalf as a part of our service.

After the original death certificate has been signed by the attending physician or medical examiner and completed by the cremation service, it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Records. Generally, it takes from 3 to 5 days for the official death certificate to be filed. Certified death certificates can be issued by the city or town clerks’ office in the town that the death occurred in the state of Massachusetts. The fee for death certificates is in most cases is between $5 and $15.

The most expedient way to obtain certified copies of the death certificate is to go in person to your local city or town clerk’s office. Alternately, copies of the death certificate can be ordered through the Cremation Service and will be sent by mail form the clerk’s office to the family. Whether obtained in person or through the mail, death certificates must be paid for prior to being issued. Once filed, the Cremation Service does not maintain a copy of the death certificate.

Copies of death certificates may be needed for the following:

  • Life Insurance Policy(ies)
  • Pension, IRA and Other Benefits
  • Accounts at Banks and Credit Unions
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Union Benefits
  • Title and Deeds to Property
  • Vehicle Registration and Title Changes
  • Attorneys and CPA
  • Home Mortgage(s)
  • Other Insurance (Credit Cards, Automobile)
  • For Your Own Records

In this section

When Death Occurs

Social Security Benefits

About Death Certificates

Writing An Obituary

Post Funeral To-Do List

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