A Certified Death Certificate is necessary before anything can be done. A death certificate can be obtained through a Funeral Director.  It is a good idea to obtain multiple copies of a death certificate as most agencies require a certified certificate and not a photocopy. Under normal circumstances the Certified Death Certificate will be available within 5 - 7 business days. When a person dies in another state or outside of the United States the Certified Death Certificate can take up to 2 weeks to receive.