Can a Funeral Director Register a Death?

Although the death of a family member is heartbreaking, there are also legalities that you must comply with in the midst of mourning. Registering the death to the proper vital statistics office in your area is necessary because registration establishes the legality of your loved one’s death. If you don’t register the death, you cannot obtain the death certificate, which you may need to present to certain government offices and financial institutions to claim benefits. Find out who can help you register a death when your loved one dies.

Who Can Register a Death?

The Registration of Death Statement is typically filled up by the funeral director along with the assistance of a spouse or nearest relative of the deceased to ensure the veracity of the information written therewith. Registration of death usually consists of the following steps:
A coroner or attending medical practitioner completes and signs the medical certification of death. This usually takes place within 48 hours of the death. The completed form is forwarded to the funeral director, along with the body of the deceased.
The funeral director verifies the information regarding the deceased from a qualified informant. The informant could be any of the following:
Spouse or another immediate family member
Relative of the deceased
If no relative is around, any adult present at the time of death
A coroner who has an inquest regarding the death
The funeral director registers the death with the correct information on the deceased, along with the medical certification of death, to the municipal clerk in their district for registration.
The clerk registers the death by dating the record and signing it. Once done, all of these will be forwarded to the vital statistics office. The same office also issues the disposition permit for the funeral home to commence with burial or cremation.
The vital statistics registrar verifies the accuracy of information. If there is any missing or incorrect information, they will call the appropriate parties for verification. The registrar then files the records permanently and issues a death certificate.

You can order the death certificate online from an accredited service provider. Alternatively, you can go to the nearest vital statistics office to obtain a copy of the death certificate. The information contained therewith such as the cause of death is used for medical and health research. Other information on the death certificate may also be used for statistical purposes.

Why is Death Registration Important

Death registration is critical because it creates a legal record. More importantly, registration makes it possible for surviving family members to obtain a death certificate. This official document is required by certain organizations so you can apply for benefits and settle the deceased’s affairs.

Notably, it may take some time to process the death certificate after registration. In Ontario, it takes 12 weeks for the official death certificate to be released. This official document could only be obtained through the vital statistics office, printed on paper with appropriate seals. In the interim, the funeral director could issue copies of proof of death for certain situations while awaiting the death certificate.

However, surviving family members must have an official death certificate as it may be required by certain organizations. It may be needed for the following:
Settling the estate of the deceased
File for insurance claims
Access government pension
Terminate government services like health cards, driver’s license, or removal from voter’s list
Genealogy searches

Important Details to Take Note Of

The vital statistics office grants licensed funeral homes and their funeral directors the power to register deaths. Find a reputable funeral home in your city to make sure you get the services that you need. The death of a loved one is a trying time so you may be unable to think clearly. A professional can guide you and ascertain you’re doing the legalities correctly. Your funeral director can help facilitate the process of death registration on your behalf, so you can mourn your loved one without worries.

Once everything is settled, you can apply for a copy of the death certificate online, by mail, or by visiting the vital statistics office. If you apply for a copy online, the certificate will not include the medical cause of death. The cause of death information can only be obtained if you apply in person or by mail to the vital statistics office. You can make an urgent request if you need a certificate with cause of death information. This more detailed certificate or certified copy of death registration with the cause of death may be needed for the following purposes:
Settling a deceased’s estate overseas
Getting a pension if you are outside the country
Satisfy some insurance providers’ requirements

If you are not sure about what kind of document you need, ask the government agency or individual requesting the document from you if they need the cause of death. The deceased’s next of kin or an authorized person may apply for the death certificate. Authorized representatives will require proof of authorization. Notably, there are no restrictions on the number of copies of the death certificate you can apply for and receive. You just need to pay for corresponding fees.

At the time of your loved one’s death, surviving family members are usually in shock. Profound grief may render them unable to think clearly. If you face this kind of crisis, work with your funeral director. A funeral home is composed of teams who can facilitate the clerical work on your behalf. This gives you the time to properly mourn the death of a loved one and say goodbye with grace and dignity.