Guidance in arranging a cremation

 Four forms from the funeral director or crematorium have to be completed. They are:

  • an application form signed by the next of kin or executor;
  • two cremation certificates signed by the family doctor and another doctor who will charge for this. Note there will be charges for this, even if the death happened in hospital; and
  • a third certificate signed by the medical referee at the crematorium. The medical referee has power to refuse cremation, require a post-mortem examination or refer the matter to the Procurator Fiscal.

Note that cremation cannot normally take place until the death has been registered and a certificate of registration of death issued by the registrar has been produced to the crematorium authorities, a minimum of 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of the cremation.

If the death has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal, the two doctors' cremation certificates are not needed. The Procurator Fiscal will give a certificate for cremation.

If someone dies abroad and you are using the services of a funeral director the relevant procedures for undertaking a cremation in Scotland will be arranged by your funeral director through application to the Scottish Executive Health Department.

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