A death certificate is needed by family members to finalize the estate of their deceased family member.
A funeral home needs to be chosen by the family to handle the final disposition of their deceased family member and the funeral home will enter basic information into the State’s Electronic Death Registry System (EDRS) before the medical examiner can complete our portion of the death certificate.
A pending death certificate will be signed when the medical examiner is waiting for the completion of additional studies prior to ruling on the actual cause and manner of death. This PENDING death certificate allows for the person to be buried but is often not adequate for the disbursement of insurance monies.
A supplemental certificate of death is issued to amend a pending death certificate or to correct items on a death certificate. A supplemental death certificate is often used to list the cause (injury or illness resulting in death) and manner (circumstances) of death of a person once the investigation and laboratory results are completed.
Once a funeral home is chosen, the funeral director will enter the basic information into the EDRS system to begin the death certification process. The certifying physician will fill out the cause of death and manner of death portion of the death certificate. This completed certificate must be taken to the health department to be filed. Once it is filed, copies are sent to the funeral home for distribution to the family. The Medical Examiner’s Office does not provide copies of the death certificate to families.