Why do I need death certificates?

Before we dive into why you need death certificates, its important to clarify what it is. A death certificate is the official government document that the county or state of death produces to verify that someone has passed away and it is usually a public document.  

Death certificates are needed for a number of processes after someone passes. In order to close the deceased’s accounts, transfer custody of an account, make transactions or receive benefits from any account of the deceased, death certificates are typically required.  Examples of accounts you would need a death certificate for are insurance policies, bank accounts, loans, utilities, stock accounts, and others.

Death certificates are available to the next of kin at the county or state health department. The funeral home that is helping with arrangements can also provide the next of kin with copies of the death certificate.  Friends and extended family usually will not be able to get a death certificate from the county or state health department without a legal need.

Each county charges a fee for each copy of the death certificate.  It typically takes two or three days to prepare a death certificate because a doctor must sign the death certificate and document the cause of death.

Obituary for Estevan “Steve” Niavez

Estevan “Steve” Niavez, of Amarillo, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 am Monday, December 18 at Lighthouse Church, 4020 SW 50th Ave, with Robert Burton and Max Montano, Pastors officiating. Interment will follow in Llano Cemetery East under the guidance of Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services of Amarillo.

The family will receive friends from 4:00-8:00 pm Sunday, December 17 at Destiny’s Garden, 1134 East Loop 335 South, with the recitation of the Holy Rosary beginning at 4:00 pm.

Steve was born December 26, 1955 in Eden, TX to Ruben Niavez and Maria Torres.

He married Sandy Montano on September 24, 1977, and they were residents of Amarillo for many years.

His hobbies included fishing, camping, painting, and raising roosters and chickens; however, Steve’s greatest passion was spending time with his family. He worked hard to provide for his family, and loved each one in a unique way. They will miss him dearly, but will cherish the memories of him forever.

He was preceded in death by his father; a sister, Sylvia Niavez; brother, Anastacio Niavez; and a nephew, Noe Niavez.

Survivors include his wife, Sandy; 5 children, Steve Niavez Jr., Stephanie Salcedo and husband Lalo, Samuel, Stanley, and Selena Niavez all of Amarillo; his mother, Maria; sisters, Delia Montour of Midland, and Elvia Moyers of Santa Fe, NM; 4 brothers, Tommy of Lubbock, Ruben of San Angelo, Robert of Ballinger, and Eloy of Borger; and 3 grandchildren, Alexia Matthews- Niavez of Amarillo, Esteban Marquez-Niavez of Dumas, and Michael John Niavez of Bovina.

Obituary for Alfred “Chango” Perez Sr.

Alfred “Chango” Peres Sr. passed away on Friday, December 8th, 2017. A celebration of his life will be at 11:00 AM Saturday, December 16 at Power Church, 1344 SE 10th street. Interment will follow at 3:00 PM at Petersburg Cemetery, Petersburg, TX under the guidance of Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services.

The family will receive friends from 4-8 PM Friday, December 15th at Power Church.

Chango was born on September 20th, 1970 in Amarillo to Jose Perez and Carolina Arriaga. He was an enthusiast of cars, especially low riders, and motorcycles. A jack of all trades, Chango was a hard worker and always had a project or two he was tending to. His sense of humor was one of a kind, and he loved life and lived it to the fullest. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was preceded in death by his father; a son, Alex; and 3 brothers, Jose, Domingo, and Concepcion.

He leaves behind to cherish his memories 5 children, Alfred Jr., Elizabeth, Reyna, Isaac, and Isabella; his mother, Carolina Dominguez; 2 brothers, Felix and Jaime; a sister, Candelaria Portillo; his fiancé, Tina Archuleta; and a grandson, Braydin Hector Arriaga Perez.


Obituary For Isaac Connor Esparza

Isaac Connor Esparza, 6 months, passed away on the morning of December 5, 2017.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM Friday, December 8th at Trinity Fellowship Church East Campus with Alejandro Rodarte, pastor officiating. Interment will follow in Llano Cemetery East, Garden of Angels, under the direction of Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services.

Isaac was born on May 28, 2017 in Amarillo, TX to Alexis Esparza and Kristen Phoummyphard. He enjoyed cuddling with his brother, laughing at his mommy and daddy, playing with his toys, and watching cartoons. Even though he was taken so soon, he’ll always be in our hearts, and we’ll cherish the memories forever.

He is survived by his parents; his brother, Mathew Esparza; grandparents, Omar and Claudia Esparza, and Jennifer McGuire; aunts, Julie, Katie, and Brittany; uncle, Christopher, and a host of other relatives who loved him dearly.

What is guaranteed in a pre-paid funeral plan?

pre-paid funeral plans

The services guaranteed in a pre-paid funeral plan are those the funeral home writes into a pre-need insurance policy and will be paid for upon death for no additional charge.

A funeral home will sell pre-need insurance policies in order to organize and plan a funeral before the death occurs. In order to do this they write an insurance policy that will cover future expenses but give you today’s prices. For example, if you wanted a full service funeral with a silver casket and it costs $10,000 dollars in 2014 and a funeral home writes a pre-need insurance policy for that amount, when the death occurs in 2020 the funeral cost for the full service funeral with a silver casket could now be $15,000. You would not pay anymore money for that exact funeral. The funeral home is hoping that the insurance policy will gain enough interest that it grows to cover 2020’s increase in price.

The funeral home can only guarantee the services that they offer. They can not guarantee services of another business such as flower shop, monument shop (for headstones) or the price of Death Certificates. Sales Tax is also something that cannot be guaranteed. They can however write into the policy an allowance that can help pay for these types of items.

Many people will pre-pay for a few things like a burial plot and a casket and think they are done. But when the death occurs, their family often wants to have a service and a viewing and other merchandise like programs and a register book, etc. If these items are not written into the policy, they will not be guaranteed and additional charges may be added that might exceed the amount in the policy. So make sure you plan for every possibility because if there is money left over in a policy, the family of the deceased gets any money not used returned to them.

Obituary for Robert J. Bromlow

Robert J. Bromlow, age 80 of Amarillo, died Saturday November 25th, 2017. A celebration of his life will be at 2:00 PM Tuesday, November 28th at Trinity Fellowship Church, Student Ministry Center, 5000 Hollywood Rd, Amarillo, TX,with Kyle Wilkinson, Pastor, officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services.

Bob was born May 10th, 1937 in Fairview, Oklahoma to Dan and Joella Bromlow. He graduated from Guymon High School in 1955 where he soon after met and later married the love of his life, Joan. They wed on December 24th, 1956 in Guymon, OK. Bob and Joan went on to raise 3 beautiful children and played active roles in their great grandchildren’s lives. Bob was an avid hunter, golfer, and fisherman. He enjoyed being outdoors and many memories were made at his annual family reunion. Bob was an active member of Trinity Fellowship Church and can be remembered by his unrelenting love for the Lord.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents Dan and Joella Bromlow, sister Judy Benson, sister Janet Whisenant, sister Nancy Flick, and brother Ira Bromlow, and grandson Brandon Kuns.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Bromlow; daughter Debbie Townsend and husband David; daughter Suzanne Adamson all of Amarillo; son Bobby Bromlow of Wichita, KS; sister Velva Perkins of Ratliff City, OK; and a host of grand and great grandchildren.

The family requests that memorials be made to Faith City Mission, 401 SE 2nd Ave, Amarillo, TX 79101.


Obituary for Marilyn A. Hardin

Marilyn A. Hardin, age 64 of Amarillo, died Thursday November 16, 2017 at her residence inAmarillo. A celebration of her life will be at 2:00 PM Saturday, November 25 at Eastridge Baptist Church, 1300 Evergreen St., with Mike Harman, Pastor, officiating. The family will receive friends from Noon to 2:00 pm at the church prior to the service. Arrangements are under the direction of Lighthouse Funeral and Cremation Services.

Marilyn was born October 24, 1953 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Haskel and LillianKeith. She was a 1972 graduate of Eastside High School. Marilyn married Virgel W. Hardin on November 15, 1975 in Plainview, Texas. Marilyn was a homemaker, and raised 2 children whom she loved dearly. She was a member of Eastridge Baptist Church, and loved her Lord wholeheartedly. She also enjoyed animals of all types.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Peg Griggs.

She is survived by her husband of Plainview; daughter, Kara Almquist and husband Joseph; a son, Jason Hardin all of Amarillo; a brother, John Keith of Fort Wayne, Indiana; 3 sisters, Sue McKinney and husband Charlie of Garrett, Indiana, Sandy Bickley and husband John, and Linda Mathes both of Butler, Indiana; and a host of nieces and nephews.

The family requests that memorials be made to American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478, Oklahoma, OK 73123.