Guidance and Support

On this page you can find our more about what a coroner is, what the coroner's service does, what to do after someone dies and more.

What is a coroner and what do they do?

Coroners investigate deaths that have been reported to them if they think that the death was violent or unusual, the cause of death is unknown, or the person died in prison or another type of state detention.

When a death is reported to a coroner, they:

  • decide whether an investigation is needed; and if it is,
  • investigate to establish the identity of the deceased; how, when and where they died; and any information they need to register the death; and,
  • use the information discovered during the investigation to prevent other deaths.

For a full guide to coroner services, including an explanation of the coroner investigation, the inquest process, and links to organisations that can provide help and advice please see the link below.

Read the guide to coroner services on GOV.UK...

You can also read more about the Chief Coroner, the head of the coroner system, on their website:

www.judiciary.uk/related-offices-and-bodies/office-chief-coroner/

What to do when someone dies

The Government has a step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies on their website:

www.gov.uk/when-someone-dies

Support for bereaved families

The Coroners’ Courts Support Service is an independent voluntary organisation whose trained volunteers offer emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an Inquest at a Coroner’s Court.

https://coronerscourtssupportservice.org.uk/

© 2020 West London Coroner