What Happens When A Death Is Reported To The Coroner

We understand that dealing with the legal formalities following a death can be challenging, at what is already a difficult time. We will do all we can to help. These pages explain everything that will happen between your relative's death being reported to the Coroner and their body being released for the funeral.

When a death is reported to the office, the Coroner will consider the information and do one of three things:

  1. Give a doctor permission to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and then take no further action.
  2. Order a post mortem examination.  Depending on the results, the Coroner will (a) find the death natural and close the case; (b) open an investigation, where we obtain further information from doctors or others involved; or (c) open an inquest, which is a fact-finding court hearing about the circumstances of the death. 
  3. Open an inquest without a post mortem examination

Each of these options are explained in the pages below.

We understand that many families are concerned about the process and especially whether it will delay their funeral.  We always try to complete the Coroner's inquiries as quickly as possible and keep any delay to a minimum.  The following pages contain information about the timescales you can expect and what to do about funeral arrangements.

Always feel free to talk to us if you have any further questions.  The Coroners team can be reached between 8am and 4pm on 01443 281100 or by email at Coroneradmin@rctcbc.gov.uk .