Illinois family lost without death certificate

May 04, 2011

A family wanted to return their father's remains to India, but a lost death certificate has kept them in the U.S. for months

A family still mourning the loss of their 45-year-old patriarch has been unable to take his cremated remains back to India for a ceremony due to delays in receiving a death certificate.

Paramjit Singh Bains passed away in October on the operating table during a procedure meant to remove his pancreas, reported the Chicago Tribune. His family worked with the local Strang Funeral Chapel and Crematorium to cremate his body and had plans to take him back to India for a traditional ceremony, but by law they are not allowed to accompany his body without a death certificate. Efforts to obtain the certificate from the funeral home and the medical examiner have gone unanswered for months, they told the source.

"In the last five months, I have left multiple messages for both the medical examiner's office and [the doctor's] office. No one is calling me back," Bains' nephew, Jay Sangha, told the paper. "The funeral home has apparently washed their hands of this issue too."

Without the certificate, the family is also unable to tap into his life insurance policy or accounts, said the report.

Death certificates are normally required to file a life insurance claim. While the policies be claimed by anyone, the claim is paid out to the first listed beneficiary on the policy.

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