Need For Accurate Death Certificate

In order to open an Estate in Maryland, a Death Certificate must be presented to the Register Of Wills, in the county where a decedent resided at the time of their death.   

Death Certificates are issued by the State where a person dies, and not by the State of a decedent’s residence. So that if a person dies in Maryland, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would issue the Death Certificate, even if the decedent was a resident of another state. Currently, copies of a certified Death Certificate may be ordered for a fee of $12.00 per copy.

The information provided to the funeral home for insertioninto the Death Certificate should beaccurate. The decedent’s full legal name, including any suffix (e.g. “Jr”), should be included, and any alias that he or she has been known by.  It is especially important that the date of death and causes of death be accurate in the Death Certificate, as life insurance benefits may be adversely effected as a result of improper information.

If the Death Certificate that is issued contains inaccurate information, in order to obtain a re-issued correct document, you must forward the incorrect Certificate, along with a letter requesting the change to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division Of Vital Records, currently located at    6550Reisterstown Road, Reisterstown Road Plaza, Baltimore,  Maryland 21215. Unfortunately this will result in a delay in opening a decedent’s estate, as well as processing the payment of death benefits to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and retirement benefits.

Prepared By Valerie A. Rocco, November, 2014.