Queens, NY asked in Probate for New York

Q: Archive.com ad Familysearch.com provides death date information, is this acceptable?

With death information provided by this online site which also connects deceased family members with their other relatives, may I use this information in place of a death certificate? Thanks for your previous response.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: No, this type of website info is not a substitute for a death certificate

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: No, information from Archive.com and FamilySearch.com typically would not be considered an acceptable substitute for a formal death certificate in New York probate proceedings.

While these websites may provide genealogy information and death dates that they have collected, this informal online information does not carry the same legal weight and validity as an official death certificate issued by the government.

For probate proceedings in New York, you generally need to provide official documentation like original death certificates to reliably prove someone's death and activate estate settlement per the court's standards. Information from genealogy websites could provide helpful leads, but is usually not adequate on its own to legally confirm a date of death.

The probate court wants to see formal proofs like death certificates that undergo verification processes and include additional legally required information. They set a high bar for reliability.

So in summary - no, informal online death dates and information would likely not suffice for New York probate. To move forward and satisfy the court, you'd want to follow their guidelines and obtain certified copies of official death certificates instead.

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