Information for families

If a loved one has recently died and the death is being investigated by the Coroner, you may find these pages helpful.  

A death will be reported to the Coroner if:

  • it is violent, sudden, unnatural or suspicious
  • the cause of death is unknown
  • it happened in legal custody

This will be reported by the police, paramedics or doctors.  It is then the Coroner's role to investigate the death.

What happens next?

Once the death has been reported to the Coroner, the Coroner's Officers will then make initial enquiries.  This is to see what action needs to be taken.  

You can find out what happens if:

  • a post mortem or inquest is not required
  • a post mortem is required
  • an inquest is required but a post mortem is not needed as the cause of death is known

on the what happens once a death is reported to the Coroner page. 

During the early stages of a Coroner's investigation you may have a number of questions.  You may be wanting to know:

  • when you need to register the death
  • when you can start to arrange the funeral 
  • who to contact if you have concerns about the death

Find out about what happens during the early stages of a Coroner's investigation.

Support and guidance

Bereavement can affect people in different ways. If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one there is support and help available.  

The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) is an independent voluntary organisation. They have trained volunteers who offer emotional support and practical help.  They also provide guidance and support if you are asked to attend an inquest.  

You can find out more about how they can help you on the Coroner's courts support service page.

You can also find a number of links to organisations who can support you below:

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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