Florida law provides for two (2) types of death certificates and as a result many people needlessly purchase the wrong type of death certificate or the wrong number of death certificates. Please use the following guide when ordering death certificates for probate purposes and for assets that pass outside of probate:
The following situations require death certificates with the cause of death:
1. Life Insurance Policies and annuity contracts;
2. Auto insurance if automobile accident is the cause of death;
3. Employee Benefits such as pension, profit-sharing, etc.
4. Social Security: Local Numbers —Orlando (407) 648-6673; Longwood (407) 331-2961; General Information and Services—(800) 772-1213
5. Veterans Administration: Local Number—(407) 857-2800, Regional Number—(800) 827-1000
The following situations require a death certificate without the cause of death:
1. Title Transfers such as cars, boats and motor homes;
2. Real estate including fully owned property, joint and survivor ship property and mortgaged property whether or not it passes through probate;
3. Credit cards (many companies will accept a copy faxed to them rather than an original for their records);
4. Banking including checking accounts, savings accounts, Money Market accounts, stocks, bonds and IRAs.
5. Income Tax usually required with final return.
6. Pre-arranged funeral arrangements – one copy is needed to remove the funds from the trust.
7. Probate court (if estate goes through probate) and one for the attorney;
8. Personal Records – it is recommended that you purchase two additional copies besides the ones listed above. While this is a general rule, it is always best to check with the institutions involved as they may have changed their requirements or they may accept photocopies of death certificates or one sent by facsimile.