Frequently asked questions

Are all deaths reported to the Coroner?
No, only about 25% of deaths in Avon are reported to the Coroner. <Back to top>

How many deaths do you deal with?
About 4,500-5,000 a year in a catchment area of roughly 1,000,000. <Back to top>

What areas do you deal with?
The Avon Coroner deals with four districts. Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset. We call these sub-districts. <Back to top>

How do I register a death?
A death can be registered once the Coroner has signed the relevant paperwork. <Back to top>

Where do I register a death?
Each sub-district has a register office. Please refer to the Contact Us page. <Back to top>

What if I can’t register the death in the areas available?
If you are unable to travel to a certain district you will be able to register the death by declaration in the register office nearest to you (unless you reside in Scotland, for more information, please call the Coroners Court). <Back to top>

How much does a death certificate cost?
Please contact the register office you are attending to confirm the price. Please refer to the Contact Us page. <Back to top>

How will a death be dealt with? <Back to top>
A death can be dealt with in three ways. Peach form A, Pink form B and an Inquest.

What is a Peach form A?
A Peach form A is a certificate signed by the Coroner and sent to the Register Office to allow the death to be registered. A Peach form A means no post mortem has taken place. <Back to top>

What is a Pink form B?
A Pink form B is a certificate signed by the Coroner and sent to the Register Office to allow the death to be registered. A Pink form B means a post mortem was performed and a natural cause was found or an investigation has taken place which has confirmed that the cause of death is natural. <Back to top>

What is an Inquest?
An Inquest will be opened when the cause of death is likely to be unnatural. The inquest is then adjourned pending further enquiries. Once all enquiries are complete it will be listed for court. <Back to top>

What documentation do I get once an inquest has been opened?
Following the opening of an inquest, 5x Interim certificates will be issued to the family / interested party. These will act as death certificates until a final one is available. <Back to top>

What documentation do I get once an inquest has been finalised?
Once an inquest has finished and the Coroner has given a conclusion a form (form99) will be signed by the Coroner and sent to the register office, allowing the family / interested party to obtain a death certificate. You do not need to register the death. <Back to top>

When can I arrange a funeral?
You can begin to make funeral arrangements straight away after confirming with the Coroners Officer. You do not need to obtain any certificate from the Coroner to proceed with arranging a funeral. The funeral directors will contact the Coroners Office to establish a date that is suitable. <Back to top>

Can I attend an Inquest?
The Coroners Court is a public court and anyone is welcome to attend. Letters will inform family members, interested persons and witnesses when they will need to attend. <Back to top>

Do I have to attend an inquest as a family member?
If you have not been called as a witness you do not need to attend if you wish not to. If you have been called as a witness the you must attend.

Will the press/media be at the inquest?
Yes, all major press offices in Avon are sent a list of what inquests will be taking place and they will choose which inquests to attend.

When do I turn up for an Inquest and what do I wear?
We ask people attending court to arrive 5-10 minutes before court. There is a waiting room with a drinks machine in the court entrance. You will be asked to come into court by the court usher just before the inquest you are attending starts. Smart/casual is an appropriate dress code for the Coroners Court. It would not be considered appropriate to wear shorts or casual clothes. <Back to top>

Where is Flax Bourton Coroners Court and is parking available?
Please refer to the map for directions to the Coroners Court. There is always plenty of free parking available. <Back to top>

How long does an inquest last?
An inquest can last anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 weeks depending on the circumstances. Please call for a more accurate timescale. <Back to top>

How do I arrange to view a deceased person?
Viewings and identifications can be arranged with the Coroners Officer in charge of the case. It must be arranged with them and not through the mortuary. <Back to top>