There are several reasons why people often need to confirm an exact date of death, whether it be for a family tree or maybe relating to the deceased's estate, where proof of death is necessary. Several free search sites for a date of death are available online to the public. Using a person's name or Social Security number, these sites are able to scan national public and private records to find a death record for the person in question. If you need additional information, there is sometimes an advanced death record check that will pull up more detailed information relating to the death.
Write down the person's full legal name on a sheet of paper along with the approximate death date and location where that person died. If you know it, write down the person's Social Security number as well as it will help you avoid the need to sort through several people with the same name.
Perform a search in the U.S. Social Security Death Index (SSDI) link (see Resources). The site asks the person's first, middle and last name, along with his Social Security number. Not all of this information is needed to do the search, but the more information you have, the better. If you are getting no results back, try different spellings, or use her maiden name if the person in question was a married woman. Your search should return an exact date of death. An advanced search on this website will ask you to also provide the person's last residence and his date of birth.
Use different online sources if your search in the SSDI did not return any results. This may have happened if the person died before 1962. People who passed away before 1962 are only listed in the Social Security Death Index if their death was officially reported to the Social Security Administration. There are other sites available to the public such as geneology.com and searchsystems.net that will also run a search free of cost. You may need to register for the free service before you are allowed to access the search tools.