How to Find a Death Record in Maryland? | (2023)

What Are Death Records in Maryland?

In Maryland, death records are vital records that contain information about deaths that occurred within the state. A death record serves as official proof of death and details the deceased's data and the events surrounding the death. Like other Maryland Vital Records, death records are generated and disseminated by the state vital records office. A typical Maryland death record contains the following information:

  • Full name of the deceased
  • Deceased’s biodata, including sex, color or race, etc.
  • Place of death
  • Birth records, including date of birth and birthplace and name of birth parents
  • Name of decedent’s spouse
  • Usual residence before death
  • Date and hour of death
  • Parental and marital
  • Decedent’s Social security number
  • Usual occupation, including kind of business or industry
  • Informant’s details
  • Cause of death
  • Medical certification

Death records are important documents used by government agencies to amend electoral registers, passport records, government benefits paid, etc. Death records can also be used to close bank accounts, transfer real and personal property titles, monitor death trends, collate data for research studies, and process pension claims, motor vehicle transfers, bonds, stocks, and life insurance benefits. In addition, death records come in handy when prioritizing health-related funding, medical and health-related research efforts (like gathering public health statistics), and public health interventions for genealogical research. This allows interested persons to request confidential and non-confidential vital statistics for research or public health surveillance purposes at the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Division of Health Statistics. MDH is the state's central repository for Marland vital statistics. The office is tasked with compiling information regarding birth, death, marriage, and divorce. Individuals seeking more information regarding Maryland mortality data can check the United States Vital Statistics System (VSS) or contact the United States death registry.

How are Death Records Created in Maryland?

A death record is created for every death in Maryland or a case where a corpse is found in the state. The process of death record creation is facilitated by the Maryland Electronic Death Registration System (MD-EDRS), although death records can also be created offline. Death records can be created offline by obtaining a blank death certificate from the health institution where the person died or at the Vital Records Office if the death occurred at home. The MD-EDRS is a web-based application that Medical Certifiers and Funeral Directors use to report deaths electronically to the Maryland Department of Health. A death record must be created and filed at the Vital Records Office within 72 hours of the death.

The three steps involved in creating a Maryland death record include:

  1. Completing the Deceased’s Personal Information
    The Funeral Director or the person taking up this role shall obtain a blank death certificate from the health institution where the person died or at the Vital Records Office in the county where the death occurred. After which, the death certificate is completed with all the required personal and statistical information of the deceased. The information is usually provided by an informant, who may also be the next of kin or anyone trusted to provide accurate information. The informant then enters their signature, address, and date of signing. If the body is in the custody of the State Anatomy Board, the person who last had custody of the body before it was sent to the State Anatomy Board will be required to provide all the required information, excluding the medical certification.
  2. Completion of the cause of death and medical certification
    Medical certification must be completed within 24 hours after receipt of the death certificate by the attending physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in charge of the patient’s care for the illness or condition which led to the death unless the inquiry is required by the medical examiner. The person completing the cause of death and medical certification must attest to the accuracy by signature or an approved electronic process.
    Suppose within 24 hours after taking custody of a body, the medical examiner cannot determine the cause of death. In that case, the medical examiner shall enter “investigation pending” in the cause of death section of the death certificate. Then immediately the medical examiner determines the cause of death, the medical examiner will send the Secretary a report of the cause of death for entry on the certificate.
  3. Filing at the Vital Record Office
    Upon completing all the required information on the death certificate, the Funeral Director will file the completed death certificate with the Vital Record Office in the county where the death took place for recording and certification.

What is the Difference Between a Death Certificate and Other Death Records?

A death certificate is a legal document showing details about a person's death. It gives comprehensive information about the deceased and the events surrounding the death. Below is the information Maryland death certificates reveal:

  • Decedent’s legal name, sex, age, residence, race
  • Marital status at the time of death
  • Birth parents
  • Cause of death
  • Place, date, and time of death
  • Decedent’s social security member
  • Facility Name
  • Decedent’s education, occupation
  • Birth records, including date of birth and birthplace
  • Disposition details such as method, place, location

Other public death records are usually not comprehensive as a death certificate. Instead, they are just mere notifications or verification of a person’s demise. That said, a record seeker can perform a Maryland death certificate search by contacting the Maryland State Archives or State vital records office.

Are Death Certificates Public in Maryland?

Yes, uncertified death certificates are public records. However, certified Maryland death certificates are restricted to an authorized few. Only the decedent’s spouse, children and surviving relatives, legal representatives, and the funeral director can request death certificates in the state. Maryland death certificate search can be done by mail or at some local health departments. Information that can be obtained from death records is the decedent’s social security number, birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. Alternatively, a death certificate search can be done by funeral directors and medical certifiers at the United States death registry. General searches regarding deaths in a county may be conducted through the online database of the National Center for Vital Statistics.

How to Find Death Records Online in Maryland?

The Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records does not provide access to death records online. Death records search in Maryland can only be done via mail orders. However, death records from 2012 and before are available online at the Maryland State Archives. Record seekers would have to use the archive’s search room computer to get death information about people at a fee. Only information about dead people in Baltimore City (1875 - 2012) and Maryland Counties (1898 - 2012) is available for perusal. Online death record search in Maryland requires providing information like the decedent’s name, gender, place, date of death, age at death, and certificate number (if known). Record seekers can also search for death records online via the United States National Death Index. NDI serves as the nationwide database for all United States death records.

Considered open to citizens of the United States, public records are available through both traditional and government sources and third-party websites and organizations. In many cases, third-party websites make the search easier as they are not limited geographically or by technological limitations. They are a good place to start when looking for a specific or multiple records. To gain access to these records, interested parties must furnish the online vendor with:

(Video) How to Search Maryland State Archives Death Records

  • The name of the person listed in the record. Juveniles are typically exempt from this search method.
  • The last known or assumed location of the person listed in the record. This includes cities, counties, and states.

While third-party sites offer such services, they are not government-sponsored entities, and record availability may vary on these sites when compared to government sources.

Death Record Search by Name in Maryland

The Maryland State Archives allows requestors to conduct a death record search by name. Requestors must fill the search fields with the appropriate information to get results. The information required for a death record search by name in Maryland is the decedent’s full name, gender, place, date of death, age at death, and certificate number (if known). Record seekers can obtain certified or uncertified copies of death records from the Archives office.

Death Record Search by Address

The Maryland State Archives and the state vital records office do not provide death record searches by address. Therefore, a record seeker can only conduct a death record search by name, mail, and in person at some local health departments. For specific information about how to conduct death, marriage, divorce, and birth record searches by address, interested persons may query the specific county custodian concerned.

How to Find Death Records for Free in Maryland?

Death records maintained by the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records are available upon the payment of the required fees. However, free death certificates may be obtained only in either of these cases:

  • A copy of the death record of a current or former armed forces member is being requested by a member; or
  • A copy of a death record of a current or former armed forces member or the member's surviving spouse or child is being requested to be used concerning a claim for a beneficiary or dependent of the member.

In both cases, proof of service in the armed forces must be provided.

Where Can I Get Death Records in Maryland?

Interested persons can obtain Maryland death records through the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records or local health departments. The State Vital Records Office provides access to certified and uncertified copies of death records for individuals who died in Maryland from 1969 to the present. Copies of records for deaths before 1969 are maintained and issued at the Maryland State Archives.

The Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records accepts requests through:

  • Mail Order
  • In-Person Order

Mail Order

(Video) Maryland Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce, Genealogy Search Online).

Download and complete the Application for Certified Copy of Maryland Death Record with accurate information. Send the completed application together with a legible copy of a valid government-issued ID, documentation of entitlement, a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and money order or check payable to the “Division of Vital Records” to:

Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 68760,
Baltimore, MD 21215-0036

In-Person Order

The Maryland Division of Vital Records’ lobby is currently closed to in-person requests to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records for regular updates on the availability of in-person requests. However, it is advisable to send mail requests or visit local health departments close to you for death records, pending the time the lobby will open to customers. The address is as follows:

The Maryland Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
6764B Reisterstown Road
Reisterstown Road Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 764-3038

Death Records Request From Maryland State Archives

Death records of deaths that occurred in Baltimore City (1875 - 2010) and Maryland Counties (1898 - 2010) can be requested at Maryland State Archives online (by credit card only), by mail, or by phone orders.

Note that an order comprises searching for one record, one name, one location, and one year, as stated on the form. The Archives will attempt to find the record with the information provided, but results are not guaranteed. If the searched record is not found, the fee will not be returned, and a notification letter from the Archives will be issued. Contact Maryland State Archives for more information on the availability of records by email at or by phone at (410) 260-6487. No documentation is required to request a death record at Maryland State Archives.

For an online order, complete all required fields on the Online Death Certificate Order Form and click on the “add to cart” button to place an order. The $25 required fee for each record is payable by credit card (Visa or Mastercard).

(Video) Using the Maryland State Archives Death Records Finding Aid Page

For a mail-order, complete the Death Certificate Mail-in Order Form and click on the “Print Order Form”. Payment can be made by credit card (Visa or Mastercard), check, or money order. Mail completed form to:

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

Mails must not be sent via FedEx or certified mail.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Maryland?

According to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), copies of Maryland death certificates may only be issued to applicants who have direct and tangible interests in the records. This includes surviving relatives, authorized representatives, beneficiaries, a person with a business need or court order, and the Funeral Director who handled the final disposition of the deceased’s body. Authorized persons must present the necessary documentation and IDs as listed below:

  • A surviving relative of the deceased must provide proof of relationship to the deceased with documentation such as:
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Birth Certificate
    • Obituary
  • Authorized representatives of surviving relatives of the deceased must provide documentation such as:
    • Letter of Administration signed by the Register of Wills or the Court Clerk


  • Authorization of Release signed by a surviving relative, which must include:
    • Name of deceased
    • A copy of the surviving relative’s valid ID
    • Relationship of surviving relative to deceased
  • A person authorized by a court of law must provide a copy of the court order
  • A person making an insurance claim or other type of business need must provide documentation such as:
  • Letter from the insurance company
  • Vehicle Title
  • Deed

Note that it is mandatory that all requesters present required documentation and unexpired valid IDs showing the number and expiration date of ID.

How Much Does a Death Certificate Cost in Maryland?

In Maryland, a death certificate costs a non–refundable fee of $10 for the first copy and $12 for each extra copy of the same certificate purchased in the same transaction. For mail requests, send payment in the form of a check or money order. Cash will not be accepted for mail orders. For check payment, include a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID that shows your current address, or other acceptable ID which include:

  • Current car registration
  • Paystub
  • Bank statement
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form

How Long Does It Take to Get a Death Certificate in Maryland?

The Maryland Division of Vital Records processes a death certificate mail request within 4 weeks of the request. The office is currently closed to walk-in customers in a bid to prevent exposures to COVID-19.

(Video) When You Can't Find A Death Record | Ancestry

How Long to Keep Records After Death

In Maryland, there are no laws that indicate how long a death record should be kept for after death, but it is necessary to keep a death record for as long as possible because it is considered an official proof of death.

How to Expunge Your Death Records in Maryland?

Expunge is a legal term that refers to the authorized complete deletion of a record that is considered sensitive or permitted to be deleted after the person named on the record has qualified for an expungement. Maryland laws do not allow the expungement of death records.

How to Seal Your Death Records in Maryland?

Maryland laws do not allow the sealing of death records in the state.

How to Unseal Your Death Records in Maryland?

Maryland laws do not allow the unsealing of death records in the state.

How to Use the Maryland Death Registry

The Maryland Department of Health requires all medical certifiers and funeral directors to report deaths electronically using their Maryland Electronic Death Registration System (MD-EDRS). Here is how to use the MD-EDRS:

  • The medical certifier must create a user account on the EDRS system. A username and an activation link will be provided
  • Follow the activation link to create a password. Then login to the system using the assigned username and preferred password
  • Click on the “Certificate” tab on the left of the screen and choose “Create Certificate” from the drop-down menu
  • Click on the “Confirm” icon to ascertain approval from the Chief Medical Examiner to create the certificate in MD-EDRS
  • Enter the deceased’s information and click “Continue”. If the information provided matches a record started by another user, it will appear in the system in the “Potential Duplicate Record Browser” section. The medical certifier can click on the deceased’s last name and complete the “Medical Information” section of the record. However, if there is no matching record, the medical certifier can continue to fill in the decedent's medical information.
  • After filing all the necessary information, click on the “Certificate View” tab at the bottom of the screen to review the death certificate
  • If all the information on the certificate is accurate, click on the “Certificate Options” tab at the upper left of the screen. Then click on “Attest Certifier” from the drop-down menu
  • Check Yes, then click on “Continue”
  • A message of successful attestation will appear, indicating that the record is signed and locked
  • The medical certifier must transfer the certificate to the funeral home by clicking on “Certificate Options’ and selecting “Grant Access” from the drop-down menu
  • Select the funeral home from the drop-down menu and then click “Continue”
  • A successful message will appear showing that the record has been transferred to the funeral home
  • When the funeral home receives the record, they just have to log in to EDRS, click on “Certificates,” and then “Find Certificate”
  • Search for the deceased’s name in the search box
  • Click on the name to open the record
  • Enter the deceased’s personal information
  • Click on the “Validation” tab and “Validate PI” to check for errors
  • If there are no errors, the message “Successfully Validated Personal Information” will appear
  • Fill in the information on the Funeral Director tab near the bottom of the page.
  • Click on the “Validation” tab near the top of the page and then on “Validate FD” to check for any errors
  • The message “Successfully Validated Funeral Director Information” will appear
  • Click on the “Save[F8]” tab to save the record
  • Click on the “Certificate Options” tab and “Authenticate PI” to authenticate the personal information
  • Check the “Yes” box and then click on “Continue”
  • A message that the Personal Information has been successfully authenticated will appear.
  • Click on “Certificate Options” and “Sign FD” to sign the record as the Funeral Director
  • Check the box “Yes” and “Continue”
  • A message that the Certificate was successfully signed will appear.
  • Click on the “Certificate Options” tab and “Submit to Registrar” to file the death certificate with the Division of Vital Records (DVR)
  • Check the box “Yes” and “Continue”

Once the record has been reviewed by a DVR staff and determined to be complete, the death will be registered in the Maryland death index. This allows the deceased family members to create Maryland death notices to inform the general public about the death of their loved ones. Upon registration, the certified copies of the deceased’s death certificates will be available for issuance.

How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person in Maryland

Interested members of the public may find an obituary for a specific person by visiting the Maryland State Archives’ official website. Free obituary search can be conducted by simply typing the word “obituary” in the search box available on the website. The record seeker can sort through the list generated after a search to find the obituary of the specific person concerned. Maryland obituary search results reveal the deceased's full name, time and place of death, age at death, cause of death, and funeral information.

How to Conduct a Free Obituary Search in Maryland

The Maryland State Archives has an online tool where a record seeker can conduct a free obituary lookup. To perform a Maryland obituary search, a record seeker can go to the Maryland State Archives' official website and type “obituary” in the search box. Information regarding obituaries in the state will be provided. Note that anyone can conduct a free obituary search in Maryland. The information that can be found in a Maryland obituary search are:

(Video) How To Find Death Records And Search For People

  • Decedent’s full name
  • Age at death
  • Time and place of death
  • Address
  • Birth records
  • The decedent's spouse and children
  • Information about birth parents
  • Information on the deceased life and occupation
  • Cause of death
  • Date of funeral and burial place

What are Maryland Death Notices?

Maryland death notices are public announcements made in local newspapers when people die in the state. Record seekers can find death notices for free by typing the phrase “death notice” in the search box available on the Maryland State Archives website.

What is the Difference Between Death Notices and Obituaries?

The primary difference between death notices and obituaries is the length. Death notices are short announcements of a person’s death. It includes the deceased’s name, date and location of death as well as the funeral home handling the arrangements. Conversely, an obituary is longer. It provides specific information about the person’s life, including biological information, hobbies, occupation, accomplishment, names of surviving family members, and information regarding the funeral service. Members of the public are allowed to conduct a free obituary search in Maryland.


How do I find out if someone died in MD? ›

Interested persons can obtain Maryland death records through the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records or local health departments. The State Vital Records Office provides access to certified and uncertified copies of death records for individuals who died in Maryland from 1969 to the present.

How do I find details of someone's death? ›

  1. Start an Online Search. Arguably the best way to find out whether or not someone you know has passed is to begin an online search. ...
  2. Check Social Media. ...
  3. Use Word of Mouth. ...
  4. Read The Paper or Watch The Local News. ...
  5. Go To An Archive Facility. ...
  6. Review Government Records.

Is there a way to find out the cause of death of a person? ›

In the United States, death certificates are public record, so you should be able to obtain a copy from the vital records office in the state where the person died. The death certificate will list the cause of death as well as other important information, such as the time and place of death.

What information can I find from a death certificate? ›

Death records

These records will state the date and place of death, age, occupation, final residence and cause of death of the deceased. It will also include the name and relationship of the person notifying the authorities and sometimes can give an indication on whether a spouse is still alive.

How do I find an obituary in Maryland? ›

In Maryland, the best stop is the Division of Vital Records at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for more recent records, or the State Archives for death records dating back to the late 17th century. These official government websites can all be reached through

What happens when you find out someone died? ›

A person with appropriate authority will come, pronounce the death, and put funeral plans into motion. If the deceased was not with hospice, then prepare to call 911. You will need to have some information ready.

How do I find my record of death for free? ›

Birth records from 1837 to 2021 and death records from 1837 to 1957 and 1984 to 2021 are indexed on the General Register Office website. To order these records, you will need to choose 'Order certificates online', register for a free account and then select 'Search the GRO Online Index'.

Can you investigate a deceased person? ›

Continuing a police investigation after a suspect dies

The police may decide to continue its investigation following the death of a suspect: lines of inquiry may lead away from the initial suspect to another suspect; or there may be several persons suspected to have participated in the offending.

Does a death have to be registered where the person died? ›

This is a legal requirement. The death must be registered at the register office in the borough where the death took place. If there is an investigation into the death and the coroner is involved, the death may be registered outside of the five days.

What happens if they can't find a cause of death? ›

If the post mortem shows an unnatural cause of death, or if the cause of death is not found at the initial examination, the Coroner will open an investigation or inquest. They will also need to do this if the deceased died in custody or otherwise in the care of the State. What is an inquest?

How long can it take to find out cause of death? ›

Autopsy reports are usually completed within 60 days from the date of autopsy; however, there are cases which can take 90 days or longer depending on the complexity of the case.

How do you find out how long someone has been dead? ›

Rigor Mortis
  1. If the body feels warm and no rigor is present, death occurred under 3 hours before.
  2. If the body feels warm and stiff, death occurred 3-8 hours earlier.
  3. If the body feels cold and stiff, death occurred 8-36 hours earlier.
  4. If the body is cold and not stiff, death occurred more than 36 hours earlier.

How do I find a family member of a deceased person? ›

Places to look for Death Records
  1. Church records of deaths and burials.
  2. City and County civil registrations.
  3. Family Bibles and personal histories.
  4. FamilySearch in the Catalog Search, Records Search, and Historic Books.
  5. Google and other web site search sites, and don't forget to search Google Books.
Nov 2, 2022

How do you prove you are next of kin? ›

How Can You Prove You Are The Next of Kin? As a blood relative, proving you are that person will be relatively straightforward. A certified copy of your passport or other forms of recognised ID will demonstrate you are who you say you are.

What to do with passport when someone dies? ›

It is a simple document to complete. Just fill in the details of the person who has died and your details, as the person cancelling the passport. For security purposes, it is important you cut the top right hand corner off the passport before sending it to H M Passport Office for cancellation.

Why can't I find an obituary of someone who died? ›

Some newspapers do not have online archives

The obituary of your loved one may exist, but it may not be available online. You may need to visit the library near the location where the death occurred to see if newspaper archives are available.

How do I find out if and when someone died? ›

Local newspapers, obituary pages, and social media can help you determine whether someone recently died. States and the U.S. government have online death records (sometimes called death indexes) for deaths within the past 50 years or so. To find out if you're in someone's will, you may want to visit a probate court.

How can I read an obituary online for free? › offers a free obituary search with as little as just the last name. The website provides information from the Social Security Administration (birthdate, death date, and city of residence upon death) and then links to other sites for copies of newspaper obituaries.

Who is the next of kin when someone dies without a will? ›

Children - if there is no surviving married or civil partner

If there is no surviving partner, the children of a person who has died without leaving a will inherit the whole estate. This applies however much the estate is worth. If there are two or more children, the estate will be divided equally between them.

How long does it take for someone to get to heaven? ›

We enter heaven immediately upon our death, or our souls sleep until the second coming of Christ and the accompanying resurrection. Most have chosen to believe what the Bible appears to overwhelmingly propose: our souls (spirits) penetrate heaven immediately after we take our final breath.

Who gets the $250 Social Security death benefit? ›

Do we pay death benefits? A one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if they were living with the deceased. If living apart and they were receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record, they may be eligible for the lump-sum death payment.

Can I view death certificates online for free USA? ›

You can search most state archives online and easily access them from the comfort of your own home. These searches are also free. State archives often have death certificates that date to the founding of their state and beyond in some cases.

Can you view birth certificates on ancestry? ›

At the top of the page, click on 'Search' and then choose 'Birth, Marriage & Death, including Parish'. Enter as much information as you can. When your search results appear, click on 'View Record'. You'll be able to see all the Index information available.

How do you find out what time you were born? ›

Find a copy of your birth certificate

The best way to find the time you were born is to look at your birth certificate. These will often list the birth time, but if you do not see one listed, you may have a short-form birth certificate that only includes essential information like name and birth date.

What types of death must be investigated? ›

Although State laws vary in specific requirements, deaths that typically require investigation are those due to unusual or suspicious circumstances, violence (accident, suicide, or homicide), those due to natural disease processes when the death occurred suddenly and without warning, when the decedent was not being ...

Who owns the data of a deceased person? ›

Officially, once a person dies, their account dies with them, along with everything licensed to the account over the years. Of course, that means potential destruction of music, films, photos, and much more, let alone the monetary value.

Can police verify deaths? ›

In most cases, the first police officers to arrive on scene will be in uniform. These officers will collect information about the circumstances of the death and relay this to their supervisors and to the Coroner's Office. Officers will also check the body of the deceased and note the presence of any injury.

What happens if a death is not registered within 5 days? ›

When must a death be registered and who can do it? The general standard in law is that a death must be registered within five days of it occurring. This includes weekends and bank holidays, so it must be done within this time frame regardless of the days. It's a criminal offence not to register a death in time.

Can a funeral take place before the death is registered? ›

A death certificate is the formal record of a death, and is issued when a death is registered with the Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages. You will need to register a death before any funeral arrangements can be made or a person's estate can be managed.

Do banks need original death certificates? ›

Even if you do not need probate you will need to have a copy of the death certificate for each asset holder, e.g. for each bank or building society where there are accounts, each pension or insurance policy.

Who investigates the cause of death? ›

Coroners determine the identity of the deceased and cause of death. They classify the manner of death as natural, accidental, homicide, suicide, or undetermined.

What is the most common cause of sudden death? ›

Thickened heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy).

The most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young people is this genetic condition that causes the heart muscle to grow too thick. The thickening makes it hard for the heart to pump blood and can cause fast heartbeats.

Why is finding cause of death hard? ›

Deciding on a Cause

The exact nature of death is such that proving how it happened can sometimes be a difficult task. There might not necessarily be visible signs of how death occurred and likewise there might not be any history of ill health to fall back on as a means of diagnosis.

What happens if a person dies on Saturday? ›

Death on a Saturday is believed to lead to another death in the same household. The saying is 'Sanip-ponam Thaniye pokathu' i.e. a dead body does not go singly on Saturdays.

What happens when someone dies unexpectedly at home? ›

But if your relative died at home, especially if it was unexpected, you'll need to get a medical professional to declare her dead. To do this, call 911 soon after she passes and have her transported to an emergency room where she can be declared dead and moved to a funeral home.

How long does it take for death to set in? ›

Everyone's timeline is different. How long it takes for your body to die depends on your health, treatments you're receiving and the cause of death. For instance, untreated sudden cardiac arrest can result in death within minutes. With chronic (long-term) conditions, your body may take weeks or even months to die.

How do I find information about a dead relative? ›

  1. Start an Online Search. Arguably the best way to find out whether or not someone you know has passed is to begin an online search. ...
  2. Check Social Media. ...
  3. Use Word of Mouth. ...
  4. Read The Paper or Watch The Local News. ...
  5. Go To An Archive Facility. ...
  6. Review Government Records.

How do I find a deceased loved one's online account? ›

Get a letter of testamentary

Both tech companies and financial institutions will request that you not only prove that the person is dead but also that you have a legal right to access their accounts. That can be done with a letter of testamentary, which gives you a legal right to matters concerning their estate.

What to do if you find an elderly relative dead? ›

Call 999 immediately and explain what's happened.

The coroner may call for a post-mortem examination. This may take some time, so the funeral may need to be delayed. When someone dies unexpectedly, the police will be called to do a routine visit.

Is the oldest child automatically next of kin? ›

When a person has died leaving children as their 'Next of Kin' – there is often a misconception that the eldest child has a priority in being the 'Next of Kin' – this is not the case – all children are equally entitled to be 'Next of Kin'.

Who is next of kin in Maryland? ›

In Maryland, the heirs-at-law are organized by degrees of relationship. If a decedent has no surviving spouse or direct descendants or direct ancestors, the brothers and sisters would be considered the next of kin.

Does the oldest child inherit everything? ›

Primogeniture (/ˌpraɪm-ə-/ also /-oʊ-ˈdʒɛnɪtʃər/) is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate child to inherit the parent's entire or main estate in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, any illegitimate child or any collateral relative.

How many death certificates do I need? ›

You'll usually need one certified copy (not a photocopy) for each insurance, bank or pension company you're dealing with. You may also need to give copies to the executor or administrator who is dealing with the property of the person who's died.

Should you cancel a passport when someone dies? ›

The passport of a person who has died can be kept as a memento if you choose, or you can return it for cancellation. If you choose to have the passport cancelled and returned to you or destroyed, you should return the passport to the CLASP unit. A copy of the Certificate of Death is required along with the passport.

Does Social Security notify banks of death? ›

If a payment was issued after the person's death, Social Security will contact the bank to ask for the return of those funds. If the bank didn't already know about the person's death at that point, this request from Social Security will alert them that the account holder is no longer living.

Are Maryland autopsy reports public record? ›

Under Maryland law, in most cases autopsy reports are public records. To get a copy of an autopsy report and toxicology results (if any), the fee for first-degree family members is $25 and $100 for all others.

Can I see the medical records of someone who has died? ›

Can I access the medical records (health records) of someone who has died? If you want to see the health records of someone who has died, you can apply in writing to the record holder under the Access to Health Records Act (1990).

Who is next of kin when someone dies in Maryland? ›

In Maryland, the heirs-at-law are organized by degrees of relationship. If a decedent has no surviving spouse or direct descendants or direct ancestors, the brothers and sisters would be considered the next of kin.

Can I get a Death Certificate online in Maryland? ›

We are an authorized online vital records ordering service for Maryland Vital Records. That means we can process your request fast, affordably, and securely. The only thing faster is doing it in person – but that's not always possible or convenient, and that's why we're here. Visit the Maryland Vital Records website.


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