Death Certifications: Long form vs Short form

Hayes Brothers Funeral Homes is dedicated to keeping you informed and will be by your side every step of the way. One important step during this difficult journey may be obtaining and submitting a death certificate.  Banks, utility companies, and property title companies are just a few examples of businesses that may need to have a death certificate sent in order to make necessary changes on an account after a loved one has passed. It is important to know the two different types of death certificates available to you and how they can be used.


Long Form

A long form death certificate is just as the name implies, long. This form is the full record of death. It includes the cause of death and any pertinent medical information. Due to HIPPA Laws and Privacy Rights, certain entities are unable to accept a long form death certificate. Typically, only life insurance companies and retirement/pension accounts are allowed to accept long form certificates. 


Short Form

Short form death certificates are an abstract version of the death record. It does not include the cause of death or any HIPPA protected information. This form of certificate is more commonly needed to make changes to accounts once held by the deceased. 


How to obtain a death certificate

Hayes Brothers Funeral Homes does have the ability to order both forms of death certificates (for a period of time). After that time frame, certified copies can be requested through the state. Florida does require certain criteria to be met before obtaining a death certificate. 


According to, any person 18 or over may apply for a certified copy of a [short form] death record (without cause of death). To obtain a [long form] death record (cause of death and social security number included) less than 50 years old, you must either be:


  • Decedent's spouse or parent;
  • Decedent's child, grandchild,or sibling, if of legal age; 
  • Any person who provides a will, insurance policy or other document that demonstrates his or her interest in the estate;
  • Any person who provides documentation that he or she is acting on behalf of any of the above-named persons; 


  • By court order

*(There are a few exceptions.


What should you do?

It is important that you know which type of certificate you will need in order to make modifications to any accounts tied to the deceased. If you need any assistance or additional information, reach out to one of our Florida offices (Fern Park or Eustis)

and we will be glad to help!


Death Certificate: Getting an Amendment


Let’s set the scene! You have granted your loved one’s last wish of being cremated. Family and friends from around the world flew into town to attend the beautiful homegoing service you have arranged. Afterward, everyone travels to the local river where the deceased loved one enjoyed spending a great amount of time fishing, meditating, and basking in the sun. You release your loved one’s ashes into the wind and watch as it blows across the majestic waters. 


Some time has passed and you are now ready to handle accounts left in the deceased’s name.  Both forms of death certificates that you ordered have arrived so you sit down to begin making necessary changes to important accounts. As you read over the death certificates, you realize there is incorrect and missing information. What do you do now?


Though incorrect and missing information on a death certificate isn’t something that happens frequently, it does happen. Oftentimes, people wonder whether they should just leave the errors on the death certificate or get it corrected. It is important that death certificates are filled out completely and accurately. Any missing or incorrect information should be corrected as soon as possible.


Why should corrections be made?

There are several reasons why corrections should be made to an inaccurate death certificate. One important reason would be for life insurance payouts. Having the wrong cause of death, misspelled name, or inaccurate birthdate can result in the payout being delayed or even denied. Having the wrong veteran status on a birth certificate can affect armed forces insurance claims. Another reason would be to make amendments to the deceased’s accounts. To close bank/investment accounts or even to make changes with mortgage lenders a death certificate is needed. Inaccurate or missing information can make it difficult to confirm identity. 


Ways to make changes to a death certificate

Hayes Brothers Funeral Homes is here to assist you with making corrections to a death certificate and any other assistance you may need. Reach out to one of our Florida offices (Fern Park or Eustis) and we will be glad to help!


If you decide to go through, here is important information you may need:


Demographic Amendments: Depending on the type of correction, documentary evidence to support the requested correction may be required.  Florida law requires a non-refundable amendment processing fee of $20.00 which includes one certification of the amended record.


DH670 Instructions For Correction of Certificate of Death (58K pdf)

DH524 Application For Amendment to Florida Death or Fetal Death Record (955K pdf)

DH433 Affidavit of Amendment of Certificate of Death (370K pdf)

DH433A Affidavit of Amendment to a Florida Certificate of Fetal Death (pdf)

If you need assistance with your request for an amendment to a vital record, call (904) 359-6900, Extension 9005 or email us at


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