This is a checklist that was put together by family members we work with, to help other families attending an hearing. The important thing is to look after yourself before, during and after the hearings and the below includes some suggestions to minimise anxiety.

We do recognise that people deal and cope with the process in very different ways, so these are merely some suggestions that may or may not assist you.

Practical tips:

  • Have a support network set up (including counselling/bereavement support or friends and family).
  • Have some ‘easy dinners’ in the fridge or freezer (you may want to batch cook in advance or ask somebody else to cook). You will probably feel tired and drained when you get home.
  • Keep a note pad to record questions as they arise.
  • Take sticky notes so you can pass questions to your solicitor/barrister.
  • Have tissues and water.
  • If you are attending the court in person, take a packed lunch and refreshments, as the court's may operate reduced services due to coronavirus .
  • Wear something smart but comfortable and bring a jumper as the courts can get cold.
  • Decide on what you want to wear the night before and have it ready before you go to bed.
  • You can leave the court room at any point if you need to take a break.
  • Check travel arrangements including the route to court to avoid diversions and delays.

Remote Hearings:

  • Make sure you have a good internet connection, and your computer is fully charged. 
  • Test your camera and microphone the day before you join to check it works. 
  • Put your microphone/audio on mute. This will mean that you don’t have to ‘leave’ and re-enter the inquest. 
  • Have a line of communication with your lawyers so that you can pass on questions to them during the hearing. 


  • Prepare to hear information which may be distressing. 
  • Pace yourself and take regular breaks away from the documents. 
  • Be in nature. 
  • Do something different to give you a break from the inquest process. 
  • Write down how you feel (even if it is just expletives). 
  • Be aware that everyone grieves differently and people will be at different stages within the family. 
  • Give each other space. 
  • Talk to friends, whilst recognising that different friends will offer different levels of support and understanding. 
  • Be honest with family and friends about how you feel.