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October 5, 23

NEWS / Virginia family struggles to get out-of-state relativeís death certificate

A Virginia family is having difficulty obtaining the death certificate of Diana Watkins, a chemist who was a resident of Florida but died in Virginia. The issue arose because Virginia law normally requires death certificates to be signed by the deceasedís primary physician, who, in Watkinsís case is in Florida.

ďWhen she died, she was wearing her 'nana shark' shirt that we got on vacation one year.Ē Dianeís daughter-in-law April Watkins was quoted by 13 News Now as stating.

Diane Watkins died on August 23 while visiting her family in the Virginia town of Smithfield, which is in the Hampton Roads region of the state. According to her family, the death was caused by heart issues and diabetes.

As of last week, the family was still waiting to receive the death certificate. The long wait is partially a result of Virginia law, which normally requires death certificates to be signed by the deceasedís primary care doctor, who, in this case is in Florida. Death certificates can also be signed by the chief medical officer of the hospice or nursing home at which the patient died, the physician performing the autopsy, or another doctor or nurse practitioner with primary care practice. None of these cases applied to Diane Watkins.

Virginia implemented an electronic death registration system in 2014, but Diane Watkinsís Florida physician was obviously not registered. The paperwork therefore had to be mailed back and forth, and now the certificate must be typed in manually by a Virginia Department of Health employee.

Because of the delay, the Watkins family could not hold a memorial service and cremate Diane for over a month. The problem now is that nothing can be done with Dianeís estate. Her bank account continues receiving social security, and the Florida probate process cannot be initiated.

A&M Logos International is here to assist you with filing the paperwork required for death certificates, as well as retrieving certified copies of death certificates and getting them apostilled or authenticated. Call us today at (212) 233-7061 or e-mail us at info@apostille. You can also apply on our website.



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