How a non-family member can get a friend’s certified death certificate?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How a non-family member can get a friend’s certified death certificate?

My friend passed away. He made me the sole beneficiary of 3 payable on death accounts. I need the death certificate to access these accounts. I can’t get a death certificate because im not family. The family will not give me one or permission to have one. My friend, before he died, wrote a letter asking the funeral home to provide me with a death certificate. They originally said they would give it to me but later changed their minds. How can a non-family member, who is a beneficiary of a POD account get a death certificate? I have called several lawyers in the local area but I haven’t found one who will take my case.

Asked on October 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Go the website for the Texas Vital Statistics. They have an online process for obtaining a death certificate.  They will charge a nominal fee, but it's still cheaper than hiring an attorney to file a suit or make an open records request for you.

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