Full-Service Probate And Estate Planning Assistance

How to get a death certificate in Washington

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Estate Administration & Probate, Estate Planning |

Serving as executor of a person’s estate in Washington is a vital job. One of your first responsibilities is to obtain the death certificate so you can file it along with the person’s will. These are the steps you must take to get this essential legal document.

Provide the right information

Providing the right information allows you to obtain the death certificate so that the probate process can begin on the decedent’s estate. You must include the first and last name of the decedent, the date of their death or approximate information such as the month and year. Finally, you must provide the city or county where the person died.

Pay fees

To obtain a death certificate, fees are required. They amount to $25 for each copy you obtain and are nonrefundable. You may also have to pay additional fees based on shipping or other means.

Request the certificate

There are different ways you can request a death certificate. You can do it in person at your local health department, by regular mail, online or over the phone. Although it’s possible to make your request through any of these means, in person may be the best; it lets you speak to a person face-to-face and you can get the certificate fastest using this method.

If you obtain a death certificate online or by phone, it should be sent within three to seven business days. You can order online through the VitalChek website. A death certificate should be delivered within one to three weeks when you order it via regular mail.

Sometimes, a person other than the executor of a deceased person’s estate wants to get a copy of the death certificate. This is possible, but in that situation, it’s crucial to prove your relationship to the decedent with documentation.