Death Certificates

In the State of Michigan, the funeral director’s main job is to ascertain that the death certificate is properly filed with the county clerk in which the death has occurred.

The funeral director gleans the information needed for the death certificate from the family. This information includes the legal full name of the deceased, along with the name that they were given at birth and any other aliases they may have used during their life.

The death certificate also records the person’s legal address, their date of birth, place of birth, father’s name, mother’s maiden name and social security number. The Michigan death certificate also asks what the highest level of education the person received and their usual occupation and type of business and industry. It also asks what the decedent’s ancestry is. In other words, are they Dutch, Polish, French, Italian, etc.

While this information is completed by the funeral director, a physician is needed to give a legal cause of death. It is also recorded as to whether or not the death was by natural causes or by suicide or homicide. A legal time of death is noted and if the exact time is uncertain, a pronounced time is given. 

Usually, the decedent’s attending physician will be responsible for signing the death certificate. Sometimes, the physician signing the death certificate is the Medical Examiner. If this is the case, the process is often delayed.

Once we have the information needed from the family and the physician, we combine it in an electronic document, which we send to the family for proof-reading. We ask them to approve the spellings of names and places, as well as the dates.

When the family has approved the death certificate, we can file it with the clerk in the county in which the death has occurred. At this same time, we will order the number of certified death certificates the family has requested.

Some entities may be satisfied with a photocopy.

Death certificates are needed to close out the final legal matters of the decedent. We can help you determine how many certified copies you may need.