Though the public death record is the last record maintained in the name of the deceased, its importance cannot be undermined. The practice of maintaining the public records for death began in early 1900s. It is mandatory for the family of the deceased to notify the local authorities of the death of a person.
The public death records maintained by the government authorities will have personal data such as full name of the deceased, family name, date of birth, date when the person died, cause of death, death certificate given by the doctor, illness suffered by the deceased, the name of the parents of the deceased, details of surviving family members and spouse can all be found in public death record.
Public records maintained by the government agencies are open to general public, free of cost. Sometimes, you may have to pay nominal fees as administration charges. You can get access to the public record for death by visiting the government office, or over the phone. You can even fax them the details of the deceased. The most convenient way to search death records is to do it online. This way you can access the records at any time as per your convenience. The only drawback in accessing the government data is that the information provided is not streamlined. Each office maintains the records as per their office policies.
There are many online sites that maintain online public records, but these may not be as reliable as the government data. Secondly, there may be strings attached while giving access to their data base. If you are thinking about the utility of the public records, then you will be amazed at how many people have a look at the public death record.
The following people generally have to refer to public death records:
Insurance companies: When a death policy comes for settlement, the first thing that an insurance company would do, is to access the public death records. Certain policies contain double death benefit in case of an accidental death and the policy would not hold good in case of a suicide. Therefore, the insurance companies would be doing a detailed analysis of the death record of a person before settling the claim.
Tax Authorities: Similar to the insurance companies, tax authorities would also refer to the public records for tax implications.
Lawyers: When the property is transferred as a result of death of a person, the lawyers will seek the public record of the deceased.
Similarly, for land and title deeds too, you have to produce death records when the property is passed due to death of a person.
The government agencies use public records for various types of statistics such as average life expectancy, disease wise death ratio etc. The public death record becomes an important document in cases where the death has occurred in suspicious circumstances.
Thus, the utility of a public death record is varied. The government is aloso interested in this as well, they are very meticulous in maintaining their records with regards to the deceased. They spend a huge amount each year to maintain their database.