Question:

If the death certificate for someone’s father reads that he died at 7:50pm, and shekiya that day was 7:52pm. They have no way of knowing if the time on the certificate was exact. When should they observe the yahrtzeit?

Answer:

There is a machlokes haposkim whether to establish the day of the yahrtzeit based on the day of death or the day of the burial. The Rema1)Yoreh De’ah 402:12 says that we follow the day of death. This is also the opinion of the Taz. The Shach2)Nekudas Hakesef ibid. disagrees and says we follow the day of burial. The Mishneh Brurah3)Orach Chayim 568:49 decides that we follow the day of death. Based on this, the halachah should be to keep the day of death and in your circumstance to go by the day of death according to the certificate. However, if there were 3-4 days in between the death and burial and this is the first yahrtzeit, be in contact with me because the din may be different.

References   [ + ]

1. Yoreh De’ah 402:12
2. Nekudas Hakesef ibid.
3. Orach Chayim 568:49