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What Are The Requirements For Getting Copies Of Death Records?

Requesting for death certificates is no longer arduous or time consuming because of many state-run public record websites online. People request for these documents for a variety of reasons. Some for genealogical purposes, others to settle estate disputes, make life insurance claims, and obtain death benefits. 

The laws that apply to death records requisition vary from state to state. In most cases, a certified copy of a death record is only issued to a relative, an authorized representative, or by the order of a court. Relatives, as described by most state guidelines, include the present or surviving wife or husband; mother, father or legal guardian; sons or daughters; grandparents or grandchildren of the deceased. It is also possible for non-relatives to request copies of death records for information purposes but these are usually non-certified, and do not contain the cause of death and SSN of the deceased. 

The fees attached to these records vary considerably among states, and if you are requesting for a copy with an apostille or without one. There are also non-government databases which mine and recompile death records from various states, but there are no guarantees to their accuracy. Some of these non-government vital records websites don’t charge for their services and remain in operation by being subsidized by online advertisers. There are also those which require processing and convenience fees. As would be expected, you can make more extensive searches with the latter. 

If you need Kentucky death records, for example, you have to fill out a request form which you can download from the State’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Such form contains fields where you are supposed to write the name of the deceased, where and when he passed away, how are you related to him or her, and why you are requesting for a copy. You also have to provide your telephone number, mailing address, and affix your signature onto these forms. The price of Kentucky death records is currently at $6.00 for each copy, and you’ll have to enclose a check or money order of such amount when you send in the completed request form. 

The Kentucky Vital Statistics Office is one of those government agencies that do not give non-apostille copies or photocopies of records. At the moment, they also are not yet capable of handling orders placed online. For the time being, to cater to those individuals who wish to order online, the said office has authorized a private remote ordering service provider which has a website where you can request your required Kentucky death records.

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Genealogy Introduction—Census Records at the National Archives

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