How to Find Out If Someone Is Deceased

Updated April 17, 2017

It's reasonable to wonder whether someone is alive or dead if you haven't heard from them for some time. Maybe you're wondering if your best friend from kindergarten has survived the years or not. Many times, the best way to find out if someone is deceased is to contact their family members. However, for some, it is easier to discover this on the Internet. By using the Internet, you might be able to discover where they died, how, and when.

Collect all the information you can about the person. Find out their full name, home address, date of birth and names of family members. Get his social security number if you can. The more discreet the information is, the easier it will be to find out if he is deceased.

Conduct a free search on the Social Security Death Index. Enter her full legal name and her social security number. Use advanced search if you happen to have more information about her. Click "Submit" once you are finished entering the information, and you should come across the results.

Click the result that closely fits the individual you are looking for. Check to see if there is a death certificate on file. You should find the time and place of death as well. If you know the deceased's parents' names, you can request a death certificate in most states.

Ask family members and friends where you might find the person if you do not know her social security number. Listen to their answers carefully. Querying indirectly will get you the same answer without seeming harsh. When talking about sensitive topics, to prevent hurt feelings it's best not to be too direct.

Hire a detective if you have very limited information about the person. Typically, you will pay the private detective an hourly wage of £32 to £52.


You may have a harder time finding out information about a person with a very common name. If the name is all you know, you may need to hire a private detective or use a nationwide database for a fee of around £32.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
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