A close relative dies. There is an obituary on the funeral home website that contains information on the date and place of death. Several relatives communicate with you to let you know the family member has passed away as well. You learn of the funeral date and time. You know who this person’s parents are and where they were born. There’s little doubt of when and where they died.
Do you need their death certificate?
Probably not. There are other good sources to document the date and place of death. The only reason you would likely need the death certificate of a recently deceased person is if you were involved with the settlement of their estate.
Of relatives who have passed away during the last fifteen years, there have only been two whose death certificates I have needed. Both times it was because I was involved in closing accounts and performed other duties to settle up their affairs. For the others, there were reliable sources of the information.
Not to mention that it saved me money for those earlier records where information on the death certificate was information I did not already know.