In England and Wales, sudden and unexplained deaths are reported to the local coroner, who is an independent judicial officer (usually a lawyer, or for those registered before 2008 may be a doctor) appointed by the local authority and approved by the Chief Coroner. The death cannot be registered until the coroner’s investigation is completed.
When a death is investigated by a coroner, the coroner’s officer will contact the next of kin, where possible, within one working day of the death being reported, to explain why the death has been reported and what is likely to follow.
The investigation may take time, for example in cases where there is to be an inquest. You could speak to the coroner’s officer about how to make funeral arrangements and inform services about what has happened, as well as any other concerns and questions you may have.
More information on the inquest process is available here.