Minneapolis, MN asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Minnesota

Q: What is the legal procedures of obtaining a death certificate in the state of Minnesota

ok what the deal is when my dad passed away I had to sign for a release of a death certificate of my dad with the funeral home for my stepbrother who is not a biological son of his. But yet they gave my dad's girlfriend 10 death certificates without me signing for the release of any death certificates to her. And with her obtaining these death certificates from the funeral home she therefore claimed with fales affidavits saying she was a debitor of my dad and he owed her money to were she used these death certificates to close out all bank accounts and all IRA and 104K retirement plans and now I'm out of 1.7 million of astate assets

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joshua Damberg
Joshua Damberg
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Maple Grove, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Obtaining a death certificate in Minnesota is a pretty simple process. The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining death records. Each county has its own office location.

To receive death certificates you must complete an application requesting the certificates, provide valid identification, and pay the fee. Only people with a "tangible interest" may request a death certificate, which means you must be the subject of the record, a child, grandchild or great-grandchild, the current spouse, a parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, or a sibling. Health Care Agents, Guardians, Conservators, Personal Representatives, and Trustees may also request certificates. An authorized representative of any of the the above relationships/roles may also make the request if they have a signed statement from the original interest holder. This is governed by Minnesota Statute 144.225 Subd. 7. It may be possible that said girlfriend falls under one of the above interests.

I would recommend contacting an attorney about the above issue. If your father's girlfriend was able to collect non-probate assets, it would appear that she may be named as your father's primary beneficiary. It is typical for assets like IRAs and 401Ks to have beneficiary designations that only require a potential beneficiary to provide a death certificate and complete some paperwork. If he designated her as the primary beneficiary, she is rightfully entitled to these assets.

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