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amend a death certificate

Discussion in 'Marriage, Engagement, Domestic Partnerships' started by Greta, May 16, 2018.

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  1. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    I didn't know which forum to post this. . here it goes. My Husband died Jan.15,2018, we were separated, but not legally separated. The step-son, who's the informant, stated my husband was widowed ( his mom died 15 yrs ago). Also my name is left out as the surviving spouse. According to the California Dept of Public Health, in order to amend the death Certificate, especially if the informant is not willing, ( dragging his feet to do so) , when correcting marital status (item 12) or when adding a surviving spouse (items 28-30), the CDPH-VR can correct the marital information if I provide a certified copy of a court order establishing thed decedent's marital status at the time of death. (I have all the documents needed)
    I have the affidavit already filled out, I have typed up a petition with all the particulars to take to the courts to file, also have the 2 signatures of those who have knowledge of the facts, marriage license, etc, etc, etc, so now problem is:
    Do I need court forms to file along with all my documents, and which forms do I need? Which court clerk do I take them to in order to get a court date? Is it probate, Civil or what? I have been going over every scrape of "court forms" to see which is the one the I should use. The Clerks can't answer legal questions. This is a big headache, I tell you.
    My husband did put the house in a trust, and more then likely other things, and no doubt have put my step-son as the Tustee. I don't care about all that, I don't want to fight him on anything.
     
  2. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Just curious what these two things have to do with each other?? Having one's mother die does not mean one is "widowed".
     
  3. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You are exactly right! The same thing I asked myself, and wondered the same thing. My only explanation is, (and I am guessing); the step-son did it intentionally, or he can claim he was not in his right mind when his father died and was just thinking about his own mother, or he just did it to piss me off. Or he did it knowing the "Trust" my husband set up, everything would go to him and his brother, since there is no surviving spouse, no need to split the goods!

    My husband and I were still texting one another, trying to work things out, but he never told me where he was or what hospital or care center. but when he died I didn't find out until 2 weeks later, since the boys never called me. HI have 2 step-sons 37 yr & 27 Yrs)

    My step-son is 37 yrs old, married, lives in his own home, husband turned the contracting business over to him. He never cared for me , that's another story. So, my thinking is when asked the marital status of his Dad, he said "Widowed". I only spoke to him once from my employers phone, since I believe he have my phone blocked on his cell. He says that he would sign the affidavit to amend the death certificate, but he just need some time, just give me some time " he said. Well that was in February, it is now May.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Why do you feel it necessary to amend the death certificate if you aren't going to fight for any part of your husband's estate?
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Talk to a lawyer.

    Why?

    If money, property, valuables are involved, GREED has been awakened.

    You're going to need more than some silly form, a dozen witnesses to vouch for you, to receive ONE US DOLLAR of that pot of gold the two leprechauns have their FOUR eyes and FOUR HANDS ready to snatch.

    If the trust holds significant monies, there'll be a court battle.

    Talk to a couple estate or trust attorneys.

    The death certificate is meaningless, insofar as you getting paid.

    The trust dictates who'll get what.

    Your lawyer will see to it that you discover what the trust says.

    It's obvious you should avoid communicating with either leprechaun, because they've developed GOLD FEVER!
     
  6. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Because it is not true. If I want to get survivorship benefits from Social Security, and need to produce the death certificate. . . as it stands now. . my husband did not have a wife. . because marital status states he was a widow. Plus, my name is not in the spot that it should be, that I am the surviving spouse
    Are you saying it does not matter what the death certificate says as facts, when I submit it to social security?
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Your first post implied that you didn't want anything which is what led to my comment.

    Now you say you do want something. So, yes, I guess you should to whatever it takes to get it corrected.

    I don't know. You'll have to ask the people at the Social Security office that question.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Your questions involve a rather esoteric and highly state-specific process. I'm a lawyer admitted in California, but I have no idea how to do what you're trying to do. I could figure it out, but I'd have to spend time researching it, which I'm obviously not going to do. The chances that a California lawyer with knowledge of this particular procedure will happen upon your post are next to nil. That means you'll either need to hire a lawyer to help you with this or spend (more) time researching how to do it.

    A starting place might be this list of California Judicial Council forms. I noticed that there are forms under the pull-down menu relating to a "petition to establish fact, time, and place of death." Maybe that's what you need.
     
  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I believe "his mom" is the son's mom, previous wife of the decedent, who was a widower until remarried to the OP.
     
  10. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well I guess I should have been more clear when I said I don't want anything. But I did not say I was going to apply for survivorship benefits. . .I just was giving a scenario. What I want is to have the death certificate amended so that it is correct.

    As it is now. . .it is not correct. My husband was not a widow and I am his surviving spouse.

    Could anyone tell me which court clerk do I file the court petition with, along with the affidavit amend forms, my marriage license, and other documents? Is it with civil clerk, probate clerk or what?
     
  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I suggest you call the civil clerk and ask. If that isn't the correct office then they should be able to direct you elsewhere.
     
  12. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That is what I did, I called the civil Clerk and asked. Yet, I was informed they could not give me any legal advise, which I was not asking for legal advice. I just wanted to know, which court clerk should I file the paperwork with.
    I guess by the clerk telling me which court clerk I should file with, they consider that legal advise.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You don't need a death certificate to file for social security benefits.

    You can file for SS today.

    You'll need your information and the information for all people to whom you've been married.

    SS calculates which source offers you more money.

    You could have been married to Bobby.

    Let's say you were one of Bobby's 25 wives.

    You'll only need to prove your marriage was legal and for the minimum time SS requires.

    If your work history indicates SS would pay you $800 a month, but by being one of Bobby's 25 lawfully wedded wives, you're eligible for $1,000; SS would award you the higher amount.

    Bobby doesn't have to be old enough to get benefits, or alive.

    Your benefits are calculated separately from the 24 other former wives, and funded by the taxpayers.

    So, apply to SS, await your decision.

    You are wasting time trying to correct a document that doesn't matter if you get SS bennies or not.

    Correcting the death certificate might matter insofar as the trust is concerned, which is why hiring a lawyer is the easiest path to take toward the trust.
     
  14. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for this information. I really appreciate your time and effort in giving me a bit more clarification on SS.
     
  15. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well I believe the puzzle is solved. the California Department of Public Health must have had a "heap" of complaints concerning according to the January 2017 "Affidavit To Amend A Death Record". . .it states:


    When correcting marital status (item 12), or when adding or changing a surviving spouse (items 28-30):


    • Both the informant who is listed on the death certificate and the surviving spouse must sign the affidavit.

    • If either the informant or the surviving spouse refuses to sign the affidavit, CDPH-VR can correct the marital information if you provide a certified copy of a court order establishing the decedent’s marital status at the time of his or her death. The court order should be mailed to the CDPH-VR office with the affidavit signed by two persons with knowledge of the facts.

    So. . .I was getting so frustrated, with the part of "provide a certified copy of a court order . . Not one lawyer could tell me where to file this petition to get a court order to amend it.

    CDPH . . have a revised January 2018 and took that whole portion out. Now it says in the January 2018 on page 3:

    Amendments are used to correct errors on the death certificate. Documentation supporting the correction may be requested and not returned. Keep copies of documents submitted.

    The VS 24 form can be used to:

     Correct spelling errors.

     Add information not known at the time of death.

     Add an "AKA" ("also known as") to decedent’s name.

     Correct most items on the certificate.


    Items 12A and 13A on the VS 24 form:

     Two persons having knowledge of the facts must complete the supporting affidavits. See next section for additional information. The signed affidavits must be included on the bottom of the VS 24 form and not as a separate document.

     Two signatures are required.

    So . . It must have been a lot of problems and complaints about getting a petition, file it with the court clerk, then get a court order to : When correcting marital status (item 12), or when adding or changing a surviving spouse (items 28-30.

    Thanks so much for all of those who gave input into this matter. I appreciate everyone taking time to read, review and type out your suggestions and thoughts on this matter. Have a great day!
     
  16. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I will opine that the general public does not understand what "legal advice" actually means (at least not as that term is interpreted by the California courts). I will also assure you that court clerks in California (at least in general) also don't understand the meaning of the term. They are instructed to give out the "I'm not allowed to give legal advice" answer to virtually any question other than "where's the bathroom." In your case, what the civil clerk really meant is the following: "I don't know the answer to your question, but it's not a question about the location of the bathroom, so I'll construe it as a request for legal advice." As annoying as it might be, it is highly likely that the civil clerk actually did not know the answer to your question.
     
  17. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well, you may think that I am wasting my time . . .because you posted:
    " You are wasting time trying to correct a document that doesn't matter if you get SS bennies or not.

    I don't believe I am wasting my time with a legal death certificate that is not correct. Some may feel that having "integrity" is no longer useful or beneficial, but to me, if the legal system ask me to follow the rules and laws they set . . .why shouldn't it go both ways?"

    I am not asking for something that should be falsified or something beyond the reach of getting the death certificate corrected, if the legal death certificate is not right it should be fixed! But it seems, many have the same view as you do. . "what does it matter".
     
  18. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It seems that you did not read my post properly. All I wanted to know was: which court clerk to I file my petition, the affidavit and other documents at.
    I am not a greedy person. . .I am not amending the death certificate to fight someone over a trust. Whatever is in the trust, the trustee can keep.

    It seems instead of answering the original question, because I was trying to explain things, even went so far as to say, the reason I want it correctly is not because I want to fight over anything, let alone the trust or what ever is in the trust. Others have read my post and taken it to another level.

    You say the death certificate is "MEANINGLESS" insofar as you getting paid". I do not want to get paid, I do not want to fight in some court about "material things, I do not want to hassle anyone, coerce anyone, or to seek out a lawyer for the gain of "haggling" over a trust.

    Plain and simple. . and as simply as I can put it . .THE DEATH CERTICATE IS NOT CORRECT . . . I want it corrected, period!
     
  19. Greta

    Greta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It's beyond me in trying to understand how a question as to "which court clerk " do I go to, in order to file a court petition along with all other documents, that so many (not all) insensitive comments I've received, as to what to do and not to do about getting a death certificate corrected concerning a trust!

    Some don't seemed to have really read my question. This is not about having a amended death certificate in order to seek out a "get the goods" of my husbands "trust" or to get Social security benefits or to receive "Survivorship Benefits"

    But, it "clouds" the mind as to the answers, comments and how insensitive some people are, as they give comments to others, who have questions or concerns in seeking help and guidance!
     
  20. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    This seems to contradict what you just said about NOT wanting benefits.

    If you don't want ANYTHING out of this then you'll be wasting a lot of time and potentially money for no reason whatsoever.
     

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