General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Why is it easy to prove someone is dead but not so easy to prove that they're still alive?

Asked by AshlynM (10610points) August 15th, 2012

I am not sure if I already asked this but help me understand the thought process here.

My dad, who retired last year, became a victim of this. He got a letter in the mail stating so and so was sorry for the loss of him. It took him a long time to get everything straightened out. I’m not sure if he’s still dealing with it or not but he was so stressed out by having to prove whoever sent him the letter that he was still alive.

Why is it so difficult to prove you’re alive? I think it would be easy but apparently not so.

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7 Answers

gambitking's avatar

Usually there’s a corpse attached with documentation of death, it’s pretty easy in that regard in most cases.

However, a living person has to still prove their identity in the event of such a fiasco.

JLeslie's avatar

Had his name been mixed up with someone who actually had died?

This is similar to credit problems. My husband has the same name as his dad, and his dad’s Mercedes appeared on my husband’s credit report.

A friend of mine just a few weeks ago was a victim of identity theft, and it was a little tricky for her to prove she was the real Jane Doe. Frustrating!

Maybe they are both hard to prove, as you have to supply documentation, but companies are probably more careful about identifying a live person, if more bad can happen from their perspective. Giving out money to the wrong person, that sort of thing. So, for life insurance companies it is probably the opposite. They probably have more hoops for proving someone is dead if they have to pay on the policy. Just a guess.

gailcalled's avatar

In order to be legally dead, an official organ has the body (funeral parlor, mortuary) and issues a death certificate.

We had to provide a copy of the death (certificate after my mother died) to banks, brokerage houses, and lawyers. The rest of the world took our word for it.

I would think you could take yourself and your ID’s to a local police station and see whether, when they pricked you, you bled.

Nullo's avatar

A given person is more likely dead than alive, because everybody dies eventually but once dead it’s difficult to bring ‘em back around.

wundayatta's avatar

Certain agencies are victims of fraud. A beneficiary dies, and no one reports it, and the children or spouse of the decedent keep on cashing the checks. So when they get a death report from someplace official, they believe it, and think that people are trying to commit fraud by saying the person has not died. I would imagine they would make you jump through all kinds of hoops to prove that an official death report was wrong.

ETpro's avatar


Sorry, great answer for a social area, but unhelpful here.—

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

Only Tupac could answer that one HONESTLY.

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