Unless there are special circumstances, a death must be registered within five days. The law requires that all deaths are registered in the sub-district where they occur.
The doctor who attended the deceased will issue a medical certificate of cause of death, which must be taken to the district registrar with the deceased’s medical card. The registrar will issue a form 344/BD8 for social security purposes and a copy of the entry in the register (Death Certificate). It is worth thinking about how many copies might be required and obtain them all at once.
You will also receive a green certificate which must be given to the funeral director before the funeral can take place. Sometimes, a doctor is not able to issue a medical certificate of cause of death. He will then refer the death to the coroner. This is done quite often and the registrar cannot register the death until the coroner gives consent. Sometimes, a post mortem is required, and in a few cases where the coroner thinks it necessary, he will hold an inquest.
If a post mortem is ordered, there is nothing that a family can do to stop it. You will be informed by the coroner’s officer when it has been completed. You will be advised on when the death can be registered. In this case, you may not be given a green certificate: the funeral director will receive the necessary paperwork direct from the coroner. An inquest is in a court of law, albeit an informal one.
The coroner always takes care to make things as easy as possible for the family. If the coroner can deal with the whole matter at once he will do so, but where there is likely to be any delay he will issue a certificate so that the funeral can take place.