Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.
The death certificate can be changed and it can be done by any way the official chooses to make the change.
It can be done by strike out or it can be done by being retyped/
by the official, do you mean the funeral director?
Whoever does it. In some cases the funeral director, in other cases it could be someone else.
if it is done by strike out, my brothers are worried that it will look as if we changed the information ourselves and it will cause a problem when presenting the death certificate to the institutions in which my dad's name must be removed from.
It just has to be done and entered of record.
There is no specific method mandated.
in this case, the funeral director was the one who originally completed the death certificate.
It could cause problems but if you get certified copies that should protect you.
can we request that the funeral director re type the certificate instead of striking out?
It seems it was not the right thing for the funeral director to take it upon himself to lie on the death certificate in saying my dad was under the care of hospice when he was not.
You can request it but there is no way to force him to do it that way short of filing a lawsuit and I don't know that a lawsuit would be successful.
He definitely shouldn't have lied on it.
Your best solution is to get a local lawyer to write him a letter advising that it was illegal to provide false information on a government document but that you won't pursue that issue if he will just correct it in typewritten form.
Don't do that yourself, get a lawyer to write the letter.
he is upsetting my mom greatly because he is basically saying that he was protecting my family against being accused of foul play and so he lied on the certificate. I do not understand why he did this at all and especially because my father's dr agreed to sign off on the certificate even though my dad died at home.
my brother wants to get a lawyer, yes.
must the lawyer be an elder care lawyer?
No, any lawyer can do this. Just pick one who is inexpensive.
Our brother is a communications lawyer, may he do the letter or is it better to use a lawyer who is not in the family?
It is probably more effective coming from a non-member but it shouldn't be that big of a difference.
ok, we will use a non member lawyer
the funeral director also told us it will take 4-6 weeks to get a corrected death certificate, even if the corrections are made by striking out.
this seems absurd to us.
how can we go to the bank, etc. and have them take my dad
name off the accounts my parents held jointly if it will take so long to receive the certificates?
Four to six weeks wouldn't be too out of line.
Is your mother still alive?
Do you know if the contract at the bank gives her as the beneficiary?
yes, for my dad's ira's my mom is the beneficiary
as far as their checking and savings accts, they are joint
and they have a cd which is in both of their names.
They may not need the corrected one for these issues.
how about social security, medicare, etc?
my brother will not want to go to the various offices with a non corrected certificate. there are other errors on the certificate, this one was just the worst one.
Those will need the final one but if there is nothing that affects them that will change you can submit the original certificate while you are waiting for the amendment to be made and then send them a copy of the new one when it is finished.
If he doesn't wantto use them then he may just have to wait,
we don't have the incorrect certificates in our possession, the funeral parlor has them. the assistant of the director told us that they must be sent back in total, in order for new ones to be issued.
That makes sense if they hadn't issued them. The only alternative is to wait then.
during the time in which we wait, my mom can still write checks on the joint account and withdraw monies as well, correct?
they issued them to us, though there were mistakes on them and so we gave them back in order for them to be corrected and then all that I explained in my question came about
She should be able to, That will depend on that bank's policies
the funeral director is saying that if this piece of information is changed there will be much trouble for us.
I am thinking there will be much trouble for him because he lied.
there are so many people in the world, I am sure many die at home. I don't understand why he would take it upon himself to lie in order to protect something that hadn't happened, especially since the dr agreed to sign off on my dad's death certificate.
It shouldn't be any extra trouble for you.
are we able to get a copy of the original certificate with all the information on it, including the cause of death. the copies do not include this we were told because they are given out for various reasons - this is understandable, though we would like a copy with all the information on it, if possible.
He may have been thinking this would get him paid sooner.
could be that is what he was thinking.
Yes, you can get copies of the final certificates with all of the infornation.
we were going to pay him everything yesterday after the funeral, though once we saw the certificates it will be some time before he is paid.
when are the final certificates usually ready?
can we order a copy of the final certificate directly from vital records or does the funeral directory have to order it for us?
2-4 weeks isn;t unusual
we were under the assumption that the certificates we received were the final ones.
Yo should be able to order them directly. They would have to bevthe ones that certify them,
the copies we received yesterday aren't final copies?
what are certified copies exactly?
they would have a seal on them, correct?
Since I can't see them I can't say what thay are.
we were lead to believe that the copies we received yesterday we could send to wherever we needed to. We were told we could take them to the bank, etc. to have my dads name removed from everywhere it needed to be removed from.
Certified copies contain a raised seal put on there by the clerk. That seal states that this is a true and correct copy of the the official document.
there was a seal on all of the copies we received. the assistant to the funeral director told us that the seal is imprinted on the copies by the computer after the information is scanned in an then printed out onto he certificate cop
Sometimes death certificates will work for that. However in some cases it requires an order from the probate court.
Are you still there?
It looks like we may have lost the connection so I will exit and if I see a response, re-enter the conversation.
Ok, thanks so much. You have been very helpful. We will find a local lawyer to write a letter to d
You're very welcome and best wishes to you!