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How do I obtain a death certificate with cause of death for an ex spouse whom I had no former children with?

Austin, TX |

I am transitioning from service in the military and had an insurance policy taken out on him while we were married and the claim was still effective during the time divorce and up to his death. In order to get the payout I need a with cause of death certificate which I am not authorized since I was not within his immediate family at the time of death. How can I legally get this document from the state of Tennessee where he passed away?

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Attorney answers 3


1, Hire an attorney in the county in Tennessee where the deceased passed.
2. Have the attorney do a county record search to obtain the certificate.
3. The attorney may pay for a certified copy of the death certificate.
4. Have the attorney file with the insurer to make claim for life benefit.
5. Pay the attorney and get your life insurance money.


In most places, death certificates are part of the public record and anyone can obtain a copy of one. You may be able to order online or from the county clerk.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


A Tennessee attorney hasn't answered this question, and you need to know the law in Tennessee. In Texas, you have to be related to the deceased to get a death certificate. They aren't public records. To find out about Tennessee, call the County Clerk in the county where he died and they can give you the rules. Unless you can get it without being related, contact an attorney in that county and see what they can do.

There is no legal relationship created or implied by the exchange of message on this website. All statements are not to be construed as legal advice but as general guidance. In all cases, an attorney should be retained to review the full circumstances and deliver advice consistent with the information learned.

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