Death registration and funeral arrangements
If the death was due to natural causes which a doctor is able to confirm, the Coroner will advise the Registrar by issuing a Coroner's notification and the death can be registered and a death certificate issued.
However, if a post-mortem examination is ordered, or, if an inquest is to be held, then the death cannot be registered until the Coroner's investigation has been completed. In these circumstances funeral arrangements should not be finalised until the Coroner has authorised the release of the body for burial or cremation.
When registration of the death is delayed, the Coroner can issue an interim certificate called a ‘Coroner’s Certificate of Evidence of Death’ to assist in the administration of the estate. However, not all financial organisations will accept this and you may need to wait for the final registration of the death before the administration of the deceased’s estate can be completed.
A funeral may take place once the Coroner is satisfied that the body is no longer required for the investigation. The Coroner will release the body to a funeral director of the family’s choice and issue a burial or cremation order. Even if the Coroner is going to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, the funeral can still take place as soon as the Coroner has released the body.
The Coroner’s Liaison Officer will be able to confirm to you when the Coroner has released the body.