How to Get a Medical Certificate for Cause of Death

medical certificate of death

A medical certificate for cause of death is a document issued by a doctor or other medical practitioner detailing the causes of death. It should not be confused with a death certificate, which is an official record of the death retained by local authorities, a copy of which is issued to the family after registering the death. The cause of death medical certificate is issued before the death has been registered – in fact, it’s necessary to submit the certificate as part of the registration process.

Who issues a medical certificate for cause of death?

The medical certificate is issued by a qualified doctor, although exactly which doctor signs the document will vary depending on the situation. For example, an expected death which occurred in the family home will generally result in the deceased’s GP issuing the certificate. In rare cases, for example if the GP had not seen the deceased recently or was not aware of their final illness, it may be necessary for someone else to handle the certificate.

gps to issue death certificate

If the death occurred in an accident where paramedics were called to the scene, an on-call doctor may be summoned to provide their signature to the certificate. If it took place in a hospital under the supervision of a presiding doctor, he or she will be required to handle the certificate. All of this assumes that the cause of death was not violent, sudden or unexpected. In those cases, there may be more of a delay in obtaining the medical certificate for cause of death.

Who issues a certification in unusual cases?

In certain scenarios, it is not possible for a death medical certificate to be issued immediately. This most commonly occurs when the circumstances surrounding the death are unclear; for example, if it was an unexpected or violent death, or if it resulted from a workplace accident. In these cases, the doctor may not be able to definitively determine the cause of death and thus summon a coroner to conduct an autopsy or post-mortem.

death certificate

In very rare cases, the further investigations by the coroner may still not provide a definitive conclusion on the cause of death, in which case the coroner may call an inquest. If this happens, it is necessary to wait until the inquest has reached its conclusion before the coroner can issue the medical certificate. In either case, the coroner themselves will sign the certificate once they have determined the cause of death.

What happens next?

Once you have the medical certificate in your possession, you can begin the process of registering a death. This must be completed within five days of the deceased passing. Further information on the steps involved can be found at the above link.

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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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