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
Access to any vital statistic death record is limited to a very few people, including spouses, children, siblings or parents, prior to the document becoming part of the public record. These individuals can purchase a death certificate for $20 and must show photo identification. It usually takes about four weeks to receive the record once the paperwork has been received by the state.
What A Death Certificate Can Be Used For
Why would someone want a death certificate? Many people are interested in tracing their family histories and collect the vital statistics certificates for as many family members as they can. Death certificates often state the place where the deceased is buried. In addition, death certificates are sometimes necessary to prove that the person has actually died, such as in the case of executing a will or life insurance. A certificate may also be necessary to make funeral or cremation arrangements.
Leading Causes Of Death In Alaska
Cancer, also known as a malignant neoplasm, has been the leading cause of death in Alaska for at least the last decade. Coming in a close second is heart disease. In 2008, over 600 Alaskans died of heart disease. Unintended injuries ranked as the third leading cause of death. More than 330 people died of unintended injuries in Alaska during 2008.
Discovering whether or not Alaska death records exist for someone is quite simple. Start at a vital statistics website where there is a search engine for this purpose. Once you know if someone has a certificate, you will be able to proceed with filling out the paperwork and getting the certificate sent back to you in a timely manner.