When contesting a Will time limits can be strict. For example, you must contest the Will within 6 months of probate. But what happens if there is a coroner’s inquest into a person’s death? Does this coroner’s inquest affect probate?
How does a coroner decide to do an inquest?
It is common for deaths to be reported to a coroner. The role of the coroner is to establish why, when and how a person has died, and they may decide that an inquest into the death is needed to establish these facts. Some of the reasons people report deaths include:
- Unknown cause of death
- Violent or unnatural cause of death
- The death was sudden and unexplained
- The deceased wasn’t seen by a medical practitioner during their final illness
- There is no medical certificate available
There may be many reasons where a coroner decides to or must hold an inquest into a person’s death. Some of these include: after a post-mortem, the cause of death is still unknown, the person possibly died a violent or unnatural death, or the person died in prison or police custody
How does a coroner’s inquest affect probate?
Once the coroner receives report of a death, they produce a death certificate. If a coroner decides that there needs to be an inquest into the death, then they delay the death certificate until the inquest has reached it’s conclusion. However, once the post-mortem has taken place, the coroner can release the body for the funeral and issue an interim death certificate, which confirms the identity of the person who has died.
While the Executor is waiting for the final death certificate, they can use the interim death certificate to notify banks and other organisations of the death. They can also use this to apply for the Grant of Representation. This means that the Probate process can begin even though the death has not yet been registered and the final death certificate has not been issued.
This means that, even when a coroner has begun an inquest, the process of probate may have started. So the time limit to contesting the Will may have already begun. It is important to know when the process of probate starts. This is because this could be key to starting a claim to contest probate.
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Here at The Inheritance Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with all manner of inheritance claims. This includes contesting Wills and contesting probate. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138763 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.