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Watch a recording of our Inquests Information Evening

The Compassionate Friends have produced 3 fact sheets about inquests in England and Wales.

Please note that although some of the terminology may have changed, the basic information in the fact sheets is correct to the best of our knowledge.
  • Part 1 gives a brief OVERVIEW of the inquest process and who is involved.
  • Part 2 offers detailed advice on PREPARATION, including getting legal and other support.
  • See Part 3 gives an explanation of what happens on THE DAY

For information on SCOTLAND please see The Investigation of Sudden and Unexplained Deaths in Scotland.

For information on NORTHERN IRELAND please see NI Direct Government: Coroners, Post-Mortems and Inquests

The Ministry of Justice publishes the publication A Guide to Coroner Services for Bereaved People (2020)

For further information and advice around inquests or legal help contact:


This voluntary service is for anyone attending an inquest at a Coroner’s Court. You can find out more here: www.coronerscourtssupportservice.org.uk .

The CCSS is there to offer you practical and emotional support whilst you are at the Coroners Court. If possible, the volunteer will take the you into the Court before the proceedings start and explain how an Inquest is conducted and the layout of the Court. The CCSS also have a Helpline on 0300 111 2141 or email helpline@ccss.org.uk

The Service is free and works under strict guidelines of confidentiality and equal opportunities.

More information about the Coroners' Court Support Service (CCSS)

More information about the CCSS Helpline

Complaints about inquests can be made to the Chief Coroner 


This organisation provides free and independent advice on the inquest process and related investigations following a death in state detention or care in England and Wales, and in some other cases where the conduct of the state or corporate bodies are in question. 

More information about INQUEST


Search The Law Society website to find a solicitor.


NOTE: Exemption for means testing legal help at inquests for bereaved families

Bereaved families can now apply for exemption of the legal help means test for inquests from 4 September 2023, meaning they can access legal help if needed.  More information here.


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