Information on completing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (HP4720) form for the death of a person over 28 days of age.
When to use the certificate
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (HP4720) form is completed for deaths of persons over 28 days of age. The requirements for completion of certificates are set out in the Burial and Cremation Act 1964 sections 46B and 46C.
Who completes the certificate
Certificates are to be completed and signed by:
- a nurse practitioner, or
- a medical practitioner.
The certificate must be given to the funeral director or person in charge of the body as soon as possible.
How to fill in the form correctly
Before you complete the form on the Deaths Documents website, refer to the guidance and examples in the sections:
- Completing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death form
- Examples of incorrect and correct cause of death certification
- Read the WHO guidance on cause of death certification
- Welcome to Death Documents – YouTube: A training video on how to use the Death Documents web tool.
- Verifying and Certifying Death – Ward Calls website: A downloadable podcast by Dr Sam Holford from Middlemore Hospital, Auckland.
Complete the form using Death Documents
To complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (HP4720) form online go to Death Documents.
If you do not have internet access you can complete a paper HP4720 form available at your hospital or medical practice.
Amend a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
If you need to change a certificate that has already been submitted, you will need to submit a new form. Follow the instructions in the section: Amended and unsatisfactory certificates.