What Next?

When a death is reported to the Coroner and they decide to investigate, the death cannot be registered until the Coroner provides a certificate when inquiries are complete. The coroner will usually order a post mortem, which will generally show that the death was due to natural causes. The Coroner will then inform the family and the registrar through the coroner’s officer, and the death can be registered in the normal way.

If the funeral is to be a burial, the Registrar will issue a certificate for burial, which must be presented in accordance with the cemetery regulations where the burial will take place.

If the funeral is a cremation, the Coroner will issue a certificate for cremation.  One part will be given to the family or sent direct to the registrar, while the other will be sent to the funeral director or direct to the crematorium.

The funeral must wait for the outcome of the Coroner’s investigation.  The Coroner’s officer will sometimes be able to advise the family or funeral director so that they may start to make provisional funeral arrangements whilst the investigation is proceeding.

You may also download a leaflet that has been provided for the next-of-kin and their families in the hours and days immediately following a sudden death, where a Coroner is involved.  It is called, When sudden death occurs (PDF, 145KB).

The leaflet is produced by the Ministry of Justice and you can obtain alternative format versions on request by telephoning 020 7210 0066  NOTE  Call Charges May Apply Click here to find out more.

Should a death occur in Scotland or abroad, then when the body of the deceased arrives within the County, the Coroner’s jurisdiction arises and the death is then treated in exactly the same way as if the death had occurred here, rather than abroad.  The only difference is that the Death Certificate will have been issued in the country where the death occurred, rather than by the Registrar here.

Last Updated: 5 October 2018