When Death Certificates Are Needed


  1. LIFEINSURANCE: One certified copy for each company. Long Form “with cause”.

  2. PENSION: One certified copy. Long Form “with cause”.

  3. REALPROPERTY: If your Florida property is deeded in both names, the name of the deceased will need to be removed from the deed. This can be done by recording a certified copy of the death certificate (without case of death) in the county where the property exists. This can be taken care of through your local Clerk of the Circuit Court at the County Courthouse. The charge for recording a death certificate will vary by county or state. If property is owned in several counties in Florida, you will need one certified copy of the death certificate per county. If property is owned in another state, you will need one certified copy of the death certificate for these states also.

  4. AUTOMOBILEOWNERSHIP: If the automobile’s title is in your and the deceased’s name, it will be necessary to file a death certificate with the Department of Motor Vehicles in the County that you reside. Remember to also take the title with you when you do go. There is a fee involved for this. If you own more than one vehicle (i.e. a car, a motor home, boat, motorcycle, etc.), take all of these titles with you when you visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. One death certificate will suffice.

  5. STOCKS,BONDS, ANNUITIES AND TRUST ACCOUNTS: One certified death certificate per company (not per stock). Long Form “with cause”.

  6. VETERANS: If the deceased veteran was receiving a pension or was in the service for the required period, then the Burial Benefits Claim will need to be filed through the local VA office in St. Petersburg. A certified death certificate will be needed to handle this. If the veteran expired in a VA Facility, transportation benefits are available. If the veteran has VA insurance, you will need a certified death certificate for this. All honorable discharged veterans are entitled to a flag and a government marker.

  7. SOCIALSECURITY: If there is a surviving spouse, and in order to have the claim processed promptly, report the death to Social Security by calling this number(1-800-772-1213). You will need to report the name of the deceased, social security number and date of death. A phone appointment will then be scheduled at that time and paperwork will be mailed to you that will need to be complete. You will need a death certificate and a copy of your marriage license to obtain the $255.00 death benefit. This is only paid to a surviving spouse. If the deceased is single, widowed or divorced, there is no death benefit payable and no need for a certified copy of the death certificate. The funeral home files a statement of death to Social Security and this will suffice. We notify for you– and then you can make a follow up call 7-10 days.

  8. BANKACCOUNTS: Each bank will require a certified death certificate to remove the deceased’s name from an account or accounts. If there is a surviving spouse, it is suggested that you leave the deceased’s name on one account to enable any checks coming to the decedent to be deposited – even after the death has occurred. Generally, most banks copy the certified death certificate and return the certified death certificate to you.

  9. CREDITLIFE, LOANS, MORTAGES, ETC.: We find that some people carry credit life on their credit cards, individual loans, automobile loans or home mortgages. Presenting a certified death certificate to the companies or credit card companies or banks that you have credit life on will pay the account off. Credit card companies, loan institutions or banks need to know if your spouse has expired, most times this can be done by a phone call or written note. Within the next couple of months, you will want to remove the deceased’s name from your: Car Insurance, Florida Power bill, Water bill, Cable bill, Telephone bill, Credit Cards, Loans, etc. If this is your spouse that has passed away and he or she is the beneficiary on your Life Insurance Policy, you will need to change the beneficiary. This will make it easier on your children and/or your family.


Long Form Death Certificate: Shows cause of death

Short Form Death Certificate: Does not show cause of death