Death Certificates &
funeral director's Proof of death certificates

The terms 'Death Certificate' and 'Proof of Death' are often misused in Ontario.  While people often refer to them as the same thing, they are in fact very different.

Proof of Death Certificate
A Funeral Director's Proof of Death Certificate will be issued by the funeral home and will be sufficient for most estate concerns within Ontario.  You will be provided with a number of Certificates and more can be issues if required.  An original copy should be sent when submitting for notification, cancellation or benefits.

Death Certificate
A Death Certificate, issued by the Province of Ontario, is a document containing the details of a death that took place in Ontario.  While a Proof of Death is acceptable for most situations, there are some organizations that will require a Death Certificate.

You may need an official death certificate or certified copy for:

  • settling an estate
  • insurance purposes
  • access to/termination of government services
  • genealogy searches

The Long Form death certificate does not include medical cause of death. This is obtained by applying for an extended long form death certificate by fax, mail or at the following ServiceOntario centre:

You may need the extended long form death certificate for:

  • settling an estate outside the country
  • pension purposes outside the country

If you are unsure if you need a file sized certificate or certified certificate, please check with the Ministry, government agency, or person requesting the document before you order.