Help and advice What is an inquest? An inquest is a fact finding investigation to establish who a person was and where, when and how they died. It is a legal procedure presided over by a coroner, sometimes with a jury. A coroner must consider whether future deaths in similar circumstances can be prevented and can recommend changes are made. Hearings are held in open court and families can be represented. Whilst public funding can be restrictive is it advisable to speak to a caseworker or lawyer to check your eligibility.