Death Certificate: Requirements, Data and MORE

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The death certificate, Also called death certificate or certificate. It is a legal document issued by the competent authorities such as the Registry Civil, which certifies the day and time of a person’s death.

This document is necessary to start the process of various procedures in favor of the relatives. As well as the preparation of the burial, having the pension, legal procedures such as inheritances, etc. Do you have questions about what a death certificate? We will explain all about this document below.

Requirements for the Death Certificate

  • The person or family member requesting the certificate must present their identification document, as well as proof of the fact.
  • In the case of death due to natural death, it can be proven with a certificate issued by the doctor who treated the person in his last illness or by a forensic doctor. If there is not one of the two, a health doctor can certify the death. In the last case, a doctor who practices an official position.
  • Except when there are no doctors in the locality, faith of the death may be given through the confession of two witnesses. This must be done within 48 hours after death.
  • In the event of violent death, hypothetical death, concealment, certain death and the corpse does not exist; can only be entered in the Registration civil death certificate by means of the original of a corresponding court order.

Data Included in the Death Certificate

The death certificate carries the following information:

  • Of death: exact day and time of death, if possible, form of death (natural, under study, violent).
  • Of the Deceased: names, surnames, as they appear in the identity document, sex, nationality, age, occupation and residence address.
  • The marital status of the deceased: married, single or widowed, names and surnames of the spouse, if any.
  • For children under one year of age: the registration data will be those of the mother or legal representative.
  • The person who certifies: name, surname, nationality, identification number and address of the medical professional certifying the death.

This is a sample death certificate:

We suggest you take into account the following observations, for the correct registration of the certificate:

  • Read carefully the instructions on the back of the form.
  • Provide complete information. Fill in with an X (X) or write clearly and easily, where specified.
  • Avoid using abbreviations in information that requires detailed information.
  • Prevent the erasure or amendments in the information.
  • Review and validate the information you provide.

What is the Death Certificate for?

The Death certificate It is an administrative procedure in the civil registry, which is used to prove the death of a person.

Thus, his physical disappearance is legally registered, in turn allows him to be removed from the electoral roll. This certificate is useful to carry out the preparation of the burial, arrange the pension, legal procedures such as inheritances, etc.

The death certificate, once registered, is extremely necessary, at first to do the errands such as burial and funeral paperwork.

Then to be able to take it to the Notary who made the will and to be able to take a photocopy of it or claim the inheritance. Introduce the request for the pension, on the part of the spouse.

In case of cremation

It is important to note that the burial or cremation will not be carried out without the written authorization given by the Official of the Record of the Family State. The Officer will ensure sufficiently of the death, with a medical certificate issued by the legally regulated person.

Burial or cremation will not take place until after the twenty-four regulatory hours of death have elapsed. Except in cases where it is sustained by court order.

Death away from home

At death certificate The data that the Official of the Registry of the Family Status requires in the statement that is exposed will be noted, it will be signed by two witnesses chosen for the case, who are relatives if any or neighbors. If the individual has died outside his room, one of the witnesses will be the one in whose house the death was verified or one of the closest neighbors.

Who Issues the Death Certificate?

The Registrar on duty at the civil status registry office, according to the place where the death occurred or where the body was discovered.

At the time of the news of the event, you have two business and regulatory days to carry out the registration. More information in this link.

Frequent questions

What is the validity period of the procedure?

Once the death of an individual is known, the civil death registration must be made within a period of two days. If the aforementioned two days elapse and the death has not been registered, it can only be requested by means of an order issued by the police inspector.

Does it generate any cost to carry out the civil registration of death?

The civil death registration does not generate any cost.

What are the main data in this document?

The essential data for this registry are the date, day, time of death, age and sex of the deceased.

Who can process the registration in the registry?

They will have the responsibility of processing it:


  • The spouse.
  • The closest relatives of the deceased.
  • The people who witnessed the event of death.
  • The deceased’s treating physician until his death.
  • The funeral home that takes care of your burial.

If the death takes place in a public or private institution, the director or administrator of such organization will also have the duty to report the death.

If a corpse of a totally strange or unrecognized person is found, the police officer who locates him must declare his death. Without prejudice to the foregoing, any interested person may also report the death, presenting the required documents for each case.

What are the deaths that are registered in the Civil Registry?

All deaths must be registered:

  • Colombian citizens.
  • Foreign citizens.
  • Adults.
  • Minors.
  • Residents

How long does it take to issue it?

The death certificate, it will take a maximum of one (1) hour to be completed, according to the manner, place and conditions of death.

It should be noted that the health personnel, who signs the certificate, assumes civil, criminal and ethical responsibility for the completed data.

Can a violent death be certified in the civil registry?

The death certification of a violent death can only be carried out by order or judicial authorization, therefore there is no legal term for its registration.

Can the investigator of a violent death request certification?

Provided that the authentic copy of the act of removal of the corpse is presented.

How is a death of presumed death processed the civil registry?

When the case is delicate, the legal sentence declaring the presumed death due to disappearance will have to be presented, they must be registered in the death registry, entering in it the data that the sentence expresses in its fullness.

What authority must register the death of a Colombian outside his country?

The death certificate is issued by the Colombian Consulate, of all those Colombian by birth or by adoption. As long as the affected party so orders it to justify the fact.

How does it help the population?

Having a series of relatively long historical reviews also makes it possible to identify circumstantial problems. With the death certificate You appreciate the rise and trend in mortality, which tends to show stepwise changes.

The registration as being of national competence and attributed throughout the population of Colombia, allows characterizing mortality according to different variables.

Such as age, sex and race, for the country and for even small geographic subdivisions. These respond to local health planning needs.

In countries with good quality of services in their records, the statistical data are comparable from one region of the country to another and from one period to another.

Another extremely important benefit of death certificate, is the cause of death information. In many countries, it represents for various entities the main source of information in this regard. Even in countries with good information on morbidity, data on mortality by cause are widely used.

What is it?

The death certificate It is the official form that reflects the death of the person. It is essential to be able to request the spouse’s pension or to receive the inheritance.

Saying death certificateOnce registered, it is very necessary to carry out certain legal procedures, at first to make the arrangements for the preparation of the burial, the funeral.

Later, to be able to go to the Notary who granted the will, to be able to obtain a copy of it and access an inheritance. In addition, with this office, the spouse can request a pension from the corresponding body.

The most relevant advantage of the death registry, from the domain of public health, is the ability to count
with a permanent link of information. This allows to recognize the different changes that have occurred in the patterns of mortality in a population.

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