Celebrating a Life: Blog

    How to Fill Out a Death Certificate in Ohio

    Posted by Jim Busch January 23, 2020

    death_certificate_ohioFollowing the loss of a loved one, you may experience periods of intense emotions. While it’s normal to grieve, there are several time-sensitive tasks you must complete during this time—one of which includes filing the appropriate paperwork like a death certificate.

    A death certificate is legally required to be issued when a death occurs and will be necessary as you make final arrangements for your loved one.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of forms to fill out, don’t stress. Continue reading to learn what you’ll need to obtain, how to fill out the form and what to do once completed.

    1. Secure

    The first form to secure following a death is a death certificate. To do so, you may seek assistance from the funeral home or crematory staff you’re arranging services with. They will help you obtain the death certificate. 

    Families who are using Busch Funeral and Crematory Services may click here to obtain a blank copy of an Ohio death certificate.

    Or, there are three ways to secure a death certificate in Ohio. These include:

    • Online.
    • By mail.
    • In person.

    If handling on your own, the simplest way to file a certified copy of a death certificate is online using a credit card from the county or state vital records office. Application fees may vary depending on the county in which the death occurred, but the majority cost between $20 and $25. You may also request more than one copy of a death certificate for your records. Again, copies range in price depending on the place of death.

    >>>Related Resource: View Ohio’s Online Death Certificate Application.

    2. Fill Out

    Once you’ve secured the death certificate, you’ll want to collect the following information before filling it out. Check off this information as you obtain it to ensure the death certificate is thoroughly complete and correct.

    • Legal name (first, middle and last).
    • Sex.
    • Age.
    • Race.
    • Social Security Number.
    • Date and place of death.
    • Date and place of birth.
    • Most up-to-date address (state, county, city, street address and zip code).
    • Marital status at the time of death.
    • Surviving spouse’s name if applicable (note, if surviving spouse is a wife, the maiden name must be provided).
    • Family history (mother and father’s names, mother’s maiden name).
    • Occupation and type of industry in which the deceased worked.
    • Family history (mother and father’s names, mother’s maiden name).
    • Military involvement (branch, type of discharge, dates served) or copy of DD214.
    • Name of doctor.
    • Informant name, relationship and address.


    Once you provide the death certificate to the funeral or cremation provider, they will coordinate with a certified physician to complete the “cause of death” section. The physician will complete the following information:

    • The immediate cause of death (final disease resulting in death).
    • Other significant conditions that contributed to death.
    • Autopsy information (if performed).
    • The manner of death (accident, natural, homicide, suicide, pending investigation, or could not be determined).
    • If your loved one was pregnant or a tobacco user.
    • Date and time of death.


    You’ll notice another section labeled “registrar” on that page. This section should be left blank for the local registrar to fill out in the county where the death occurred.

    Also, you’ll find a list of questions to fill in that relate to the funeral or cremation provider that you chose, which include the license number and signature. Leave these areas blank for the funeral home or cremation provider to complete.

    3. File

    Now that the “decedent,” “disposition” and “cause of death” sections are complete, submit it to your chosen funeral or crematory provider. They will sign it and file it with the local registrar in the proper jurisdiction where the death occurred or with the medical examiner. From there, your family will receive the number of certified copies of the death certificates you originally requested.

    Remember that a death certificate is a legally binding document. If mistakes are made, a new death certificate will be issued for you to complete.

    Many establishments require an original or copy of your loved one’s death certificate as you handle their assets and work to close accounts. Some examples include:

    • Financial institutions like bank accounts, social security and credit cards.
    • Life and health insurance.
    • Stock certificates, bonds, etc.
    • Retirement plans, 401ks, pensions, etc.
    • Federal and state tax returns.

    Preplan to Document Final Wishes

    While there are many decisions and documents to finalize after the death of a loved one, you can lift the burden from your own family after you pass. Preplanning your final arrangements helps alleviate your surviving family members from sudden emotional or financial decisions. If you or a loved one is interested in preplanning, we encourage you to download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements. Our guide explains what preplanning is, and offers insight on the benefits of arranging a funeral ahead of time.

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