- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Lewis and Clark County coroner has met a mid-July deadline to complete 51 death certificates whose cause of death were initially registered as “pending.”

The state Department of Health and Human Services reached an agreement with Mickey Nelson on May 31, giving him 45 days to update the cause of death or face a court order compelling him to do the work.

The Independent Record reports (https://bit.ly/2a1qKN3 ) a DPHHS attorney notified the county on July 14 that Nelson had completed the work.

Officials say the lack of a final death certificate left some families unable to settle estates and claim life insurance benefits. Two of the certificates dated back to 2011.

The county plans to monitor its death certificates to ensure any that are filed with the cause of death listed as “pending” are updated within six months.

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Information from: Independent Record, https://www.helenair.com

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