Can a funeral home deny me copies of parents death certificates

Both parents have passed
within the last year. My
brother doesn’t want me having
the certificates so the
funeral home refuses to give
them to me. There is no will
or executer.

Asked on March 8, 2017 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who is paying for the funeral? If it is your brother (which also includes if he is the one who signed the contracts and who is responsible for the payment(s), even if you have contributed something), then yes, they can refuse to give you the death certificates: their obligation is to provide the certificates to the person who contracted with them. (I.e. to provide the certificates to the "client" or "customer.") If you were the one who contracted for the funeral, and/or co-signed the contract with your brother, then they should provide them to you; if they don't, you may need, however, to take legal action (e.g. sue) them for breach of contract.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who is paying for the funeral? If it is your brother (which also includes if he is the one who signed the contracts and who is responsible for the payment(s), even if you have contributed something), then yes, they can refuse to give you the death certificates: their obligation is to provide the certificates to the person who contracted with them. (I.e. to provide the certificates to the "client" or "customer.") If you were the one who contracted for the funeral, and/or co-signed the contract with your brother, then they should provide them to you; if they don't, you may need, however, to take legal action (e.g. sue) them for breach of contract.


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