If the coroner is investigating a death, the deceased person is completely in the coroner’s control until an order for burial or cremation is issued.
Some of the reasons that the coroner would be involved in investigating the death are:
If the death is reported to the coroner, there may be a delay before it can be registered. The coroner will also decide if a post-mortem should take place, or if there should be an inquest.
An inquest is a formal inquiry into an unexplained, sudden or violent death. If the Coroner decides to hold an inquest into the death, a ‘Coroner’s Interim Certificate of Death’ will be issued to allow the deceased’s family or representative to organise the funeral and deal with the deceased’s estate (probate). The death cannot be registered until after the inquest, and the Coroner will forward paperwork to the registrar with all the details for the register entry. After the inquest has been registered, you will be able to obtain death certificates from the registrar.
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Updated: 31 January 2014