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Arranging a Funeral - The Coroner

How might the Coroner be involved?

Naturally a sudden death together with the Coroner's involvement is often very distressing. We are fully acquainted with all procedures and are here to help and guide you in any way that we can. Be assured that the Coroner and their officers are working in your interest.

There are a number of reasons why a death may be referred to Her Majesty's Coroner and different circumstances will require different procedures to take place. These should not, however, give you any cause for alarm.

Mr Ellery, H.M. Coroner for Shropshire is a Solicitor and is independent of local and central government, and is required to act in accordance with the law. Any sudden or unexplained death must be reported to him, regardless of how it may appear to have happened.

Sometimes, by simple questioning of various people. the Coroner will be able to determine whether the death was due to natural causes and a Doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. If so the death is registered in the usual manner.

If the Cause of Death cannot be determined, the Coroner may require a post mortem examination to take place. This will often indicate that the death was due to natural causes and in such cases, the Coroner will send a certificate to the Registrar so that the death can be registered and the funeral can take place. For a burial the Green Certificate will be issued by the Registrar to hand to the Funeral Director. For a cremation the Coroner will issue a certificate directly to ourselves and no Green Certificate is required from the registrar's.

If the death is due to unnatural causes (i.e. an accident) the Coroner will to hold an Inquest. This is a formal enquiry to establish a) the identity of the deceased; b) when, where and how the death occurred; c) the cause of death. Usually an inquest will be adjourned to allow the funeral to take place and once all the relevant facts have been established the inquest will be reopened. This may be some weeks later. The Coroner will issue special certificates depending on whether it is a burial or cremation. Interim Death Certificates may be obtained from the Coroner to help towards the administration of the estate.

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