It is important to differentiate between death certificates (which must be completed free of charge) and cremation forms.
Cremation forms, unlike death certificates, require doctors to make certain investigations which do not form part of their NHS duties.
A deceased person cannot be cremated until the cause of death is definitely known and properly recorded. Before cremation can take place two certificates need to be signed, one by the GP and one by another doctor.
Cremation form 4 must be, as stated, completed by the registered medical practitioner who attended the deceased during their last illness.
Form 5 must be completed by a registered medical practitioner who is neither a partner nor a relative of the doctor who completed form.
A fee can be charged for the completion of both forms 4 and 5 as this does not form part of a doctor’s NHS duties.
Doctors normally charge these fees to the funeral director, who, generally passes on the cost to the family. Doctors are also entitled to charge a mileage allowance, where appropriate.
The fees for cremation forms 4 and 5 (which are agreed with the National Association of Funeral Directors, NAFD, the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, SAIF, and Co-operative Funeralcare) are available on our website.