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death certificate n:
a document setting forth information (as age, occupation, and place of birth) relating to a dead person and including a doctor's certification of the cause of death NOTE: Death certificates are issued by a particular public official, as a city or town clerk. A death certificate is required to document a person's death for certain purposes, as to file an estate tax return or to probate an estate.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.