Sometimes it is not possible for a doctor to issue a death certificate. The death may have been sudden or unexplained, the result of a road accident, or soon after admission to hospital. These are just some of the reasons why a death may be reported to the coroner.
The coroner is a judicial officer whose function it is to determine the cause of death in all cases where a doctor has not been able to issue a death certificate. The fact that a death has been reported to the coroner should not give cause for undue alarm. It is simply the process by which the cause of death must be established in cases where a normal death certificate cannot be issued.
Sometimes the coroner may be able to deal with the case by consultation with the doctor. The coroner may then agree that the doctor may issue a death certificate and registration of the death can then take place in the normal manner.
In cases that cannot be resolved by consultation between the doctor and coroner, the coroner will require a post-mortem examination. This usually shows death was due to natural causes, in which case no inquest will be held and the coroner will send a form to the Registrar of Deaths indicating that registration may take place.
Where the death was not due to natural causes, for example a road traffic accident, the coroner will hold an inquest. The purpose of an inquest is to establish the identity of the deceased, when and how the death took place and the actual cause of death. Following the inquest the coroner will issue an interim certificate for either burial or cremation, to allow the funeral to take place. He may then adjourn the inquest and reconvene it at a later date, having gathered relevant information relating to the death.
If the inquest is adjourned, the coroner can issue the family with an interim death certificate. This will enable any insurance policies or administration of estate.
Geoff Leather Funeral Directors is fully conversant with all the coroner's procedures and can advise you fully.
In most cases you will need to register the death within five days in the district in which the death occurred. This can help avoid delays getting the necessary documents. If the coroner is involved you will be advised when to register the death.
We can advise you on the procedure for registering a death. Below is a guide that can help, but please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. The following people can register a death:
A simple interview with the registrar to register the death is carried out at the Register Office.
You should take with you the medical certificate issued by the doctor showing the cause of death and the deceased’s medical card. You will also require the following information about the deceased:
The registrar will issue you with:
Special copies are issued for Friendly Societies.
Given approval by the authorities, we can convey your loved one to our Chapel of Rest at any hour of the day or night. Once you have entrusted your loved one into our care we will look after them with respect and sensitivity.
We can provide gowns or some people like to provide us with items such as a favourite outfit. Other items such as flowers, soft toys, photographs and messages may also be placed with the deceased.
Some people find it comforting to see the person who has passed away. Others find it upsetting and prefer to remember them in other ways.
Please remember, it really is a personal choice and we aim to help in any way we can. We have Chapels of Rest located both in our offices in Newport and Cowes. They are purpose built and well-appointed should you wish to visit your loved one. You may spend as much time as you wish and come as often as you wish.
If you would like personal items to be placed with the deceased, and find this too upsetting to do yourself, our staff would be happy to help.
Part of our duty is to confer with you regarding any jewellery. For instance a wedding ring or items of clothing remaining with the deceased when received on our premises. We will seek your instructions and ensure they are carried out.
You may wish to tell people about the death and the details of the funeral by putting an announcement in the press. We can help you with drafting and sending a death announcement to a newspaper.
We can also assist after the funeral with placing a message in the newspaper to thank those who attended and sent flowers or donations.