Alaska began keeping vital statistics records in the early 20th century. Since then, all birth, death, divorce and marriage certificates have been strictly confidential. Once a period of time passes, however, these documents become part of the public records and can be seen by any interested party. Birth certificates join the public record 100 years after the event, while Alaska state death records, marriage and divorce certificates are available to the public 50 years after the event.
Limited Access To Records
Only the spouse, sibling, child or parent of a deceased person can purchase the official death certificate. Photo identification must be shown at the time of the purchase. After completing the paperwork, you can expect to receive the certificate in a month to six weeks. Each certificate costs around $20. Extra charges apply if you pay by credit card or if it needs to be authenticated for a foreign country.
The Uses Of A Death Certificate
Death certificates can be used by people tracing their family histories. The certificates are also required as proof that the deceased has actually passed away in order to execute the will or make a life insurance claim. In some areas, it may be necessary to make cremation arrangements.
Leading Causes Of Death In Alaska
The number one cause of death among Alaskans since at least 1994 has been malignant neoplasm. This means that most Alaskans die from a tumor that is cancerous. Heart disease is the second reason Alaskans die. Unintended injuries are the third largest cause of Alaskan deaths. More than 300 people died of unintended injuries in Alaska during 2008.
Doing A Preliminary Search
Doing a preliminary search of Alaska death records on a vital statistics website will tell you whether or not a person has an Alaska death certificate. At that point, if a certificate exists, you can decide how to proceed with your search.