This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Release of the body

When the coroner must release the body.

If a reportable death occurs and the body is in Victoria, the coroner investigating the death has control of the body until they order that the body is released. The coroner will do this if they are satisfied that the body is no longer necessary for the coroner's functions to be performed.

This will also happen when the coroner decides that the body is not a reportable or reviewable death.

A coroner must order the body to be released into the care of a particular person. The order for release may have conditions attached. If more than one person applies for the body to be released, the coroner will have to decide who has the better claim. This will usually be either the person who is the executor of the estate or the senior next of kin.

Certificate of burial

Under the old (Coroners Act 1985), the coroner had to provide a certificate of burial. The coroner no longer does this. Under the 2008 Act the coroner orders the body to be released.

More information


Coroners Act 2008 (Vic)

  • s. 47—release of the body
  • s. 48—application to the coroner for release of a body

See Coroners Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Coroners Court of Victoria

The court website has information about how the family can make funeral arrangements even before the body has been released. There is also a link to the 'Application for release of a deceased person' form.

See Coroners Court of Victoria(opens in a new window).