Death Certificates: The $13 Dollar Risk

Death certificates in Minnesota are easy to acquire and creates a security risk. Yes, just about anybody can obtain a copy of the certificate by mail, fax, and on-line. Unfortunately, this means bad guys can get them too.

A person can spend their whole live keeping their information private. Then, upon their death, that same person exposes their:

  • Date of Birth,
  • Social Security Number,
  • Full Name,
  • Mariage,
  • Place of Birth,
  • Residence,
  • And list of other private information for for a small fee of $13.

Stolen Identities from Death Certificates

Of course, Minnesota goes out of their way to protect privacy. For example, there are a bunch of forms that need to be filled out in order to obtain a copy of the Death Certificate.

On the other hand, bad guys lie.

After A Loved One Dies

Because this issue keeps me up at night, I like to see spouses, adult personal representatives, or trustees immediately upon the death of their loved one to do the following:

  • Give notice of death to the Social Security Administration,
  • Provide notice of death to the IRS,
  • Give notice of death to Minnesota’s Department of Revenue,
  • If the loved one was a Veteran, give notice to the Veterans Administration, and
  • Purchase online security protection.

Why So Fast?

Literally, giving notices and purchasing online security protection needs to happen days after a person dies. Here is why. As soon as an obituary is posted, the whole world will know about the death.

Yes, obituaries are wonderful tools to share stories and the like. But, obits and death certificates in Minnesota are the feeding ground for identity theft.