Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCOD)
When someone has died the cause of death must be determined before registration can be completed. If it’s clear why a person has and it was natural causes then the death can be registered. You will received the certificate from either the person’s GP practice or hospital bereavement office.
The information on this form is:
- Name of the deceased
- Their age
- Place of death
- Cause of death
Please do not wait for this form to be issued before contacting us. If the doctor is unsure as to the cause of death ie if they haven’t seen the patient for 14 days or more then the death will be referred to the coroner and the person taken to the hospital mortuary. The coroner may decide that a post-mortem is necessary to determine the cause of death before the MCOD can be issued.
Registering the Death
It is a legal requirement to register a death within 5 working days of the date of death. You may make your appointment for registration once you have received the medical cause of death certificate from the GP or bereavement office, or the coroner has informed the registrar the death can be registered. Registration will usually take place at Wirral Register Office, Birkenhead it will take approximately 30 minutes. If your situation differs from this we will advise you accordingly. The person registering the
death is known as the informant.
In cases where a coroner’s inquest has been held, the coroner will act as the informant and provide the registrar with all the necessary details. In this case, there is no need for the family and relatives to register the death, but they will need to attend the register office if copies of the death certificate are needed, or to arrange for them to be sent home.
Items you will need to take
- The medical cause of death certificate (issued by the GP, hospital or coroner)
- The deceased’s NHS medical card (if available)
- Money to purchase copy death certificates for administration purchases
Information you will be asked
- Full name and any previous names
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of death
- Date and place of marriage or civil partnership
- Occupation (and if the deceased was a married woman/widow the name and occupation of her husband)
- If the deceased was married, the date of birth of surviving partner
- Full name, address and qualification or person registering the death
- Usual address
Documents you will receive
- The Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation* (a green coloured form which should be given to us)
- A Certificate of Registration which is needed in order to claim benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions
- Copies of the entry in the register – on payment of a fee, £11.00 locally
*If a coroner has carried out a post-mortem examination and your relative or friend is going to be cremated, the green form is replaced by an authorisation from the coroner, which will be collected by us on your behalf.
Tell us Once service
Is a government run service which allows you to report the death of a person to most of their departments in one go. This saves having to contact each one separately. The registrar will give you a unique reference number to access the Tell Us Once service online or by phone.
When you contact them, you will need to give this information about the deceased:
- date of birth
- National Insurance number
- driving licence number
- passport number
- details of any benefits or services they were receiving
We may ask for information about:
- their next of kin
- any surviving husband/wife or civil partner
- anybody who is getting child benefit on their behalf
- the person dealing with their estate
You must get the agreement of any person you are going to provide information about. If you are not the next of kin, or the person dealing with the deceased’s estate, you can still use the service if you have the authority to act on their behalf.