How to get a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics maintains records of births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in Massachusetts from 1921 to the present. High-quality Heirloom Certificates that make beautiful keepsakes or gifts to commemorate a very special birth or marriage are also available. Learn how you can obtain copies of these records.

Consumer guide to planning a funeral

The Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule brings greater transparency to the price lists of funeral homes and crematories, making it possible for you to choose only those goods and services you want, rather than a package "deal" that may include items you don't want. It requires the provider to make certain disclosures about the customer’s rights and prevents fraud. Find out more about your rights when choosing a funeral provider, doing estate planning, and more.

Find a licensed funeral director or embalmer near you

Search online for a licensed funeral director and embalmer near you.

Change the name on your social security card

Whenever you change your name, be sure to report the change to Social Security. Otherwise, your earnings may not be recorded properly and you may not receive all the Social Security you are due. Not changing your name with Social Security also can delay your income tax refund. Find out how to report a name change here.

How to report an individual's death to Social Security

Social Security should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies. In most cases, the funeral director will report the person's death to Social Security. You will need to furnish the funeral director with the deceased's Social Security number so he can make the report.

Family history and genealogical research

Family research can you tell you a lot about your unique ancestry and heritage. The Massachusetts Archives in Boston house original records of the governor, council, general court, secretary, and treasurer. These include land grants, divorces and contested estates, legislative papers, and tax valuation lists for early Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire families.

Veterans guide to burials in state or national veterans cemeteries

Most veterans are entitled to state and federal burial benefits and other memorial services. For information about burial sites outside Massachusetts, such as the Arlington National Cemetery, you should contact the cemetery directly. To locate the burial site of a veteran or service member, use the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Gravesite Locator.  Try these links for information on VA-operated and Massachusetts Veterans' cemeteries, as well as military honors at funerals, headstones, and markers, and more.