In the event that the death is sudden or unexpected then the police will attend to coordinate the removal of the body, on behalf of the coroner, to the public mortuary. The coroner will be informed and the requirement for a post mortem assessed.
If the death has been reported to a Coroner (usually in the case of sudden death) the procedure is somewhat different. The Coroner’s duty (and do not forget that the Coroner and his/her officers are working for you and in your interest) is to establish the cause of death and issue a certificate. In this case the Coroner or his/her officer attends to obtain particulars of the deceased, statements from relatives and to identify the body of the deceased. The body should not be touched before the arrival of the Coroner’s officer. When a death of this nature occurs other than in hospital, the body will be removed to the Coroner’s mortuary. Should the cause of death be due to natural causes, the Coroner’s office (sometimes via the funeral director) will inform the relatives when they can attend the Registrar’s office to register the death. Usually, the Coroner’s procedure takes time, perhaps 3 or 4 days and on some occasions the funeral may have to be delayed until the coroner releases the deceased.
When the Coroner decides that an inquest is necessary, he/she may issue the appropriate interim form required for burial or cremation if appropriate. Relatives will then need to attend the Registrar's office to register the death and obtain copy certificates if required after the inquest is completed (see Registration).