The question about the number of death certificates needed often comes up during funeral arrangements. As a part of their services, many funeral directors will offer to order death certificates for you. It’s yet another decision to make in a stressful time - how many certificates do you need?
A rule of thumb is the more complicated the estate, the more certificates you may need. A certified death certificate may be needed for each bank account, safety deposit box, insurance company, financial institution and state agencies.
A probate attorney can help you determine how many death certificates you may need to order initially. After you mentally calculate how many death certificates you may need, add three or four more to your total as a cushion.
If you end up needing more certificates, you can order those from your vital records department in your state.