All About Death Certificates in BC

March 20th, 2024
All About Death Certificates in BC

Death certificates are important administrative documents that are issued after someone’s death, and needed for estate and financial reasons. In today’s blog article, we will talk about death certificates, and how they work in British Columbia. 

What Is a Death Certificate?

After a person dies a doctor, nurse practitioner or coroner signs a document called a Medical Certification of Death, and then provides it to the funeral director that is looking after the burial or cremation. In the case of a doctor or nurse practitioner signing, they are required to sign the document within a 48 hour time period.  In the case of the coroner, the coroner will sign the document once they have verified cause of death and no foul play is involved.

Then the funeral director gathers information related to the deceased from the executor, family member or other adult responsible for making funeral arrangements. Once the funeral home has all the necessary information, they will issue a death certificate and a disposition permit, which covers where and how final disposition will take place either through burial or cremation and where interment will take place. This information is then provided by the funeral home to Vital Statistics British Columbia, where all records of births, deaths, and marriages are kept on file.

How Do You Get Copies?

While making arrangements with your director you will be asked as to how many death certificates you will require to look after settlement of the estate. Normally 1 or 2 death certificates are all that are needed for most estates. If the estate is quite complicated it is not unusual to see 5 or more certificates issued.

The process for asking for death certificates is straightforward by simply asking your funeral director.  This, also, applies if you require more after receiving your initial death certificate(s).

What Are They Needed For?

Death certificates are extremely important documents. They are needed for transfer of property titles, changes in bank or investment accounts, and for applying for insurance or pension benefits, just to cite a few examples. The certificate is an official and legal proof of death, and the executor of someone’s estate will need it several times to settle the estate. It may also be needed for a widowed spouse to remarry, or for cancelling things like driver licenses.  

What we have discussed above covers the basics of death certificates in British Columbia. The process or procedures may be slightly different in other provinces. Because the death certificate is needed for so many different administrative details, it is often recommended for the executor and/or widowed spouse or next-of-kin to obtain more than one copy.

If you have questions about death certificates in British Columbia, or you need to arrange a cremation, please feel free to call us at Only Cremations at (604) 861-9895 and we would be happy to assist you.

Only Cremations, based in Surrey, British Columbia, provides dignified and affordable cremation services. We believe every family deserves respect, reverence, and compassion. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cremation services, please call or text (604) 861-9895.


Post a Reply