When a loved one dies, completing necessary paperwork is an unpleasant but necessary step in the process. Because death certificates are often required for certain events that occur after a death, many people have questions regarding how and where to obtain a legal death certificate after the death of a loved one.
Information About the Deceased
Death certificates contain important information about the deceased, and therefore must be carefully generated and recorded, to capture the most accurate information possible. The specific information provided on a death certificate varies by state, but generally includes the following:
- Full name of deceased
- Address of deceased
- Birth date and birthplace of deceased
- Father of deceased name and birthplace
- Mother of deceased name and birthplace
- Complete or partial Social Security number of deceased
- Veteran’s discharge or claim number (if applicable)
- Education information
- Marital status and name of surviving spouse (if applicable)
- Date, place, and time of death
- Cause of death
Obtaining a Death Certificate
To obtain a certified copy of a death certificate, you will need to visit your local city/town clerk office. Photocopies that do not include an official seal from the town clerk’s office in the town of the death will not be accepted for legal purposes. Because death certificates are not considered to be public records in the state of New Hampshire, only immediate family members and other interested legal parties (attorneys, funeral homes) can legally obtain death certificates.
How Much Does It Cost?
In the state of New Hampshire, a certified copy of a death certificate costs $15 for the first copy, and $10 for all additional copies requested. Payment is required prior to a death certificate being issued in all cases.
Filing a Death Certificate
If you choose not to work with a funeral director to carry out final arrangements for your loved one, you must fill out and file the death certificate yourself. According to New Hampshire law, all death certificates are required to be signed and filed within 36 hours of a death, and they must be signed by an authorized doctor or hospice nurse.
Once the original death certificate has been signed by an authorized individual, it can be completed by either a family member or a funeral/cremation organization, and then filed in one of two places:
- It can be filed with the town clerk in the town where the death occurred, or,
- It can be filed directly with the Office of Vital Statistics in Concord, NH, within six days of the death.
A transit/transport/burial permit is generated at the time the death certificate is filed, which must then be signed by an authorized official or next-of-kin, and filed with the town clerk within six days. The filing process can take anywhere from three to five days to be completed.
These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions about death certificates in New Hampshire. If you have further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us for additional information.
How many death certificates do you need?
In order to assist you in ascertaining the number of certified copies needed, we have provided a worksheet listing some areas requiring this document.