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First 48 hours for families

The death of a partner, child, family member or friend can be a difficult and painful experience. Many things will happen very quickly once a death is reported to a coroner.

Find out more about what happens first, the forensic process, funerals, and the release of a body.

Call us anytime on 1300 309 519. Our staff, including our Family Liaison Officers, are available to answer any questions you have about the coronial process.

Alternatively, there are many support services available to you.

What happens first?

Many things will happen very quickly in the days following a reportable death. Find out what happens first.

Forensic process

Medical examinations are carried out to help the coroner determine the cause of a person’s death. Even if it seems obvious, it is very important that the coroner is able to investigate exactly what happened.


One of the roles of the coroner is to confirm the identity of the person who has died.

This may involve a visual or medical and scientific process.

Senior next of kin

The senior next of kin is our main point of contact throughout the coroner's investigation.

The senior next of kin is usually the person’s spouse or domestic partner.