Greater Manchester police said Dr Harold Shipman, 52, of Roe Cross Green, Mottram, Cheshire, had been charged after an investigation into the death of his patient, Kathleen Grundy, 81, of Hyde, Greater Manchester.
A police spokesman said Dr Shipman had also been charged with forgery and attempted deception. Dr Shipman is due to appear at Tameside Magistrates' Court in the morning.
The police spokesman added: "As a result of these charges police will be making further inquiries into a number of other deaths."
Ms Grundy's body was exhumed from its grave on 1 August this year, two months after she died. Relatives of the former mayoress from Hyde raised concerns when they realised her will had been changed. She had left nothing from an estate estimated at more than pounds 300,000 to her daughter, Angela Woodruff, 53, a solicitor from Warwick, or to her grandsons Richard, 24, and Matthew, 23.
Mrs Grundy, a charity worker, was described as "sprightly" by friends. The day before she had watched a World Cup football match on television.
It is understood Dr Shipman voluntarily walked into Ashton police station yesterday morning, accompanied by his solicitor, and was arrested.Reuse content