Medical certificate of death

It is important to note that a funeral director cannot remove your loved one's body to a funeral home until there is a medical certificate of death. A crematorium will also need to see a death certificate so this is an extremely important part of the process.

If your loved one died in hospital, you will be given one of these by the hospital.

If your loved one died at home or in a nursing home, a doctor will be required to sign a death certificate confirming the death and stating the cause of death.

If a coroner is involved, then you should be able to get an interim certificate so that necessary funeral arrangements can be started unless the person died unexpectedly or the cause of death suspicious, in which case there may have to be a post mortem before a certificate can be issued.

A death has to be registered at a registry office – so take with you the medical certificate of death, a marriage certificate (if you have one) along with their NHS Medical card.

You will be issued with a death certificate and certification for burial or cremation.


We advise you to get several copies as many organisations will require a certified copy as proof of death including pension and insurance companies etc. They are cheaper to buy at the time of registration than going back later.