What is a medical certificate of cause of death?

stethoscope on top of a medical certificate of death

What is a medical certificate of cause of death?

A medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) is a document that explains how and where a person died.

You’ll need an MCCD to register a death with your local register office. In some cases, a doctor will send the MCCD directly to the register office by email. Alternatively, the doctor may give you the MCCD so that you can take it with you when you register the death. It’s also worth knowing that you might have to provide some other documents to register the death too.

If you’re not sure if the doctor has sent the MCCD to the register office, you should call to ask before you go to your appointment.

Is it the same as a death certificate?

No, an MCCD isn’t a death certificate.

A death certificate is a different document that acts as an official record of a death. You’ll get a copy of the death certificate after you’ve registered a death. Your local council will keep a copy for their records, too.Some people call MCCDs “cause of death certificates” or “medical death certificates”. This can be confusing. Ask if you’re not sure which document they mean.

Who issues medical certificates of cause of death?

An MCCD is usually completed by a doctor who looked after the person who died. Often, this will be the person’s GP or house call doctor.

Sometimes, it’s another kind of doctor who signs the medical certificate. For example, if a person died in a hospital, it could be any doctor who recently cared for them.

If the death was unexpected, the person’s GP can usually still sign the MCCD if they’re able to examine the body.

Can there be delays getting a medical certificate?

Yes. If a death is reported to the coroner, the MCCD might be delayed. A coroner is a judge who investigates unexplained deaths.

The coroner might get involved if the death was unexpected and a doctor couldn’t examine the body. Or it might be because the person died in an accident or crime.

The coroner could ask for a medical examination of the body, or – rarely – a fact-finding hearing called an inquest. Unfortunately, funeral arrangements may have to be put on hold while these take place.

Once investigations are finished, the coroner will issue the MCCD.

What happens next?

After the medical certificate has been issued, you have five days to register the death. Need help? Read our step-by-step guide to registering a death in the UK.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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