Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 11.28.2022

What paperwork is required at the time of a funeral?

What paperwork is required at the time of a funeral?

Reviewed By: Scott Ginsberg

Cross Checked By: Joshua Siegel

4 min read

Getting the paperwork ready and What are the documents needed to plan a funeral?

If you are planning a funeral for your loved one, the funeral paperwork is one of the most important things you need to take care of.The paperwork required as a part of funeral legalities include many documents like the death certificate of the deceased person, their birth certificate, their social security card and various other such official forms and certificates. 

You need to adhere to the funeral legal process and ensure that you submit all the funeral documents needed to the concerned authorities, so the ceremony can go on smoothly. If you are not sure what kind of paperwork you need to get ready for the service you are hosting, check out all the key details here is a list of the important documents to keep ready for a funeral

  1. Birth certificate - The birth certificate of the person who has passed away is one of the most important documents to have ready at the funeral. Ideally, you should have the original birth certificate in place. You can download a copy online too, if the prevailing laws permit it. This is one of the most fundamental official documents that are required by all funeral homes. 
  2. Social security card - Like the birth certificate, the social security card is also a very important document that will be needed as a part of the funeral paperwork. This will help the concerned authority verify the social security number of the deceased person and check if there is anyone who is entitled to receive survivor’s benefits. In case there is nobody in this category, the number will be flagged, so any earnings linked to that number after the person’s demise can be reviewed in a timely manner.
  3. Cemetery deed - If your loved one had purchased a burial plot before their demise, you will need to present the cemetery deed as a proof of ownership. This document will help you lay your loved one to rest in the place they had chosen for themselves. You will likely find the cemetery deed among their important paperwork and documents. Once you find it, you can take the help of your funeral director to call the cemetery and inform them about the demise. 
  4. Cremation or burial forms - Depending on the nature of the funeral ceremony, you will have to also have the required burial or cremation forms duly filled and submitted as needed. Typically, if you have to buy a new grave or reopen an existing plot for a burial ceremony, you need to get the burial form ready. In addition to this, you will also need a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. On the other hand, if you are cremating your loved one, you need to submit the cremation forms required by the law prevailing in your state. Depending on the nature of death and the person filing the form, there may be different cremation forms that are required. Make sure you submit the right form for the cremation. 
  5. Insurance policy paperwork - In some funerals, it may also be the practice to keep the insurance policy paperwork handy. Although this is not a legal requirement, it can be extremely convenient to include this as a part of the funeral documents checklist, because it will help the surviving members of the family raise their insurance claims in a timely manner. 
  6. Military discharge documents - If your loved one who has passed was in the military, you will have to include their military discharge documents as a part of the funeral paperwork. This will allow you to avail the benefits offered by the government to veterans. You can place a request for these documents online, so this should be easy enough to source and keep ready when you are planning the service. 
  7. Death certificate - This is another vital document needed to carry on with the funeral service and go ahead with the burial or cremation. You can obtain the death certificate from your local county or state vital records office, or you can check if it is available online. 

Keep the paperwork in place to make the ceremony smooth and hassle free

You may already have many funeral costs to handle and preparations to take care of. So, taking care of the paperwork in advance can save you a lot of time and keep you stress-free during the ceremony. It will also keep the other members of your family relaxed and allow the funeral service to proceed without any bumps in the road. Above all, keeping the necessary documents prepared, particularly those related to the accounts, insurance and other records required by the law, will help you honor your loved one and give them a peaceful farewell.