How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26688
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I would like to an elder care lawyer. My dad passed away last

Resolved Question:

I would like to an elder care lawyer. My dad passed away last Friday at home. My brother was his full time caregiver. He had Hospice in his home from October 2010 through the end of December 2010. He was released from Hospice because he was then considered chronic and no longer to need Hospice. I called the funeral director to tell him my dad passed away. We didn't call my dad's dr. because we honestly didn't realize that this would be the protocol to call the dr. first. Because my dad did have Hospice during the last 3 years, we kept him at home for some hours, thinking this was ok. The funeral director said he would call the dr. for us because it was a holiday weekend and if he couldn't get in touch with the dr. and/or the dr. would not agree to sign off on the death certificate on the following Tuesday, we would have to call 911 and an ambulance would have to come, along with the police to pronounce my father dead and to ask any questions regarding his death that might be necessary. Within a few moments, the funeral director had called me back to say he'd gotten in touch with the dr. and he would sign off on the death certificate, though it would be on Tuesday morning after this past Monday's holiday. An employee of the funeral home went to my dad's dr. on Tuesday morning to get the death certificate signed. After the funeral yesterday, my brother was given the copies of the certificate and we looked over them to discover a handful of mistakes if not more, one of which was the fact that the funeral director had checked the box saying that my dad had had Hospice within the last month. This is inaccurate and my brothers and I contacted the funeral director to ask him to correct his information along with the rest of the mistakes. He said this information is absolutely not able to be corrected. I had talked with his employee earlier who had told me it could be corrected.
He told my brothers it cannot be corrected because he checked this box for the reason of protecting us. He said if he hadn't checked the box saying that Hospice had been a part of my dad's care during the last month of his life, my parents home would have been filled with police and ambulance workers and many people who would conduct an investigation in an effort to see if there was any foul play involved. I do not understand why he told me that if he got in touch with my dad's dr.,and he would sign off on the death certificate, there would be no reason to call 911 and have an investigation conducted. Now he is telling my brothers that the information can be changed, though only if you use a pen to cross out the incorrect information and right the correct info with a pen. This seem highly odd to my brothers and I. We do not want a death certificate that is crossed out in pen and rewritten beside the incorrect word. This is unacceptable to us. Is it true that a death certificate cannot be correct in the typewritten word? Can the funeral director cross out the answer and write the correct answer in pen? Is it right of the funeral director to first say this information cannot be changed absolutely not and then to say that it can be changed, though only by crossing the incorrect information and writing in the correct information? Thanks for any help you can provide.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

The death certificate can be changed and it can be done by any way the official chooses to make the change.

JD 1992 :

It can be done by strike out or it can be done by being retyped/

Customer:

by the official, do you mean the funeral director?

JD 1992 :

Whoever does it. In some cases the funeral director, in other cases it could be someone else.

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

It just has to be done and entered of record.

JD 1992 :

There is no specific method mandated.

Customer:

in this case, the funeral director was the one who originally completed the death certificate.

JD 1992 :

It could cause problems but if you get certified copies that should protect you.

Customer:

can we request that the funeral director re type the certificate instead of striking out?

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

He definitely shouldn't have lied on it.

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

Don't do that yourself, get a lawyer to write the letter.

Customer:

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.

Customer:

my brother wants to get a lawyer, yes.

Customer:

must the lawyer be an elder care lawyer?

JD 1992 :

No, any lawyer can do this. Just pick one who is inexpensive.

Customer:

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?

JD 1992 :

It is probably more effective coming from a non-member but it shouldn't be that big of a difference.

Customer:

ok, we will use a non member lawyer

Customer:

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.

Customer:

this seems absurd to us.

Customer:

how can we go to the bank, etc. and have them take my dad

Customer:

s

Customer:

name off the accounts my parents held jointly if it will take so long to receive the certificates?

JD 1992 :

Four to six weeks wouldn't be too out of line.

JD 1992 :

Is your mother still alive?

Customer:

ywa

Customer:

yes

JD 1992 :

Do you know if the contract at the bank gives her as the beneficiary?

Customer:

yes, for my dad's ira's my mom is the beneficiary

Customer:

as far as their checking and savings accts, they are joint

Customer:

and they have a cd which is in both of their names.

JD 1992 :

They may not need the corrected one for these issues.

Customer:

how about social security, medicare, etc?

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

JD 1992 :

If he doesn't wantto use them then he may just have to wait,

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

That makes sense if they hadn't issued them. The only alternative is to wait then.

Customer:

during the time in which we wait, my mom can still write checks on the joint account and withdraw monies as well, correct?

Customer:

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

JD 1992 :

She should be able to, That will depend on that bank's policies

Customer:

the funeral director is saying that if this piece of information is changed there will be much trouble for us.

Customer:

I am thinking there will be much trouble for him because he lied.

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

It shouldn't be any extra trouble for you.

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

He may have been thinking this would get him paid sooner.

Customer:

could be that is what he was thinking.

JD 1992 :

Yes, you can get copies of the final certificates with all of the infornation.

Customer:

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.

Customer:

when are the final certificates usually ready?

Customer:

can we order a copy of the final certificate directly from vital records or does the funeral directory have to order it for us?

JD 1992 :

2-4 weeks isn;t unusual

Customer:

we were under the assumption that the certificates we received were the final ones.

JD 1992 :

Yo should be able to order them directly. They would have to bevthe ones that certify them,

Customer:

the copies we received yesterday aren't final copies?

Customer:

what are certified copies exactly?

Customer:

they would have a seal on them, correct?

JD 1992 :

Since I can't see them I can't say what thay are.

Customer:

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.

JD 1992 :

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.

Customer:

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

JD 1992 :

Sometimes death certificates will work for that. However in some cases it requires an order from the probate court.

JD 1992 :

Are you still there?

JD 1992 :

It looks like we may have lost the connection so I will exit and if I see a response, re-enter the conversation.

Customer:

Ok, thanks so much. You have been very helpful. We will find a local lawyer to write a letter to d

JD 1992 :

You're very welcome and best wishes to you!

Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26688
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
Dwayne B. and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.