• Frequently Asked Questions

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where can I obtain a death certificate?

    Death Certificates are filed with the State Health Department. Should you require certified copies, they can be ordered through the funeral home or may be purchased from the State Health Department.
    • Is there a charge for the Coroner's services?

    • Will autopsy reports be available?

      Yes, the legal next of kin may obtain a copy by written request. This document and other Coroner records will be available after completion of the death investigation.
    • When may personal belongings be claimed?

      The next of kin may claim belongings in the custody of the Coroner. We will arrange to bring the belonging to you. We will call you and arrange a time to meet with you. You will need to provide a photo ID to claim any property.
    • What should I do now?

      As soon as possible, select a funeral home of your choice and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the Coroner's Office. Please notify us of your funeral home choice. Our office does not select funeral homes nor do we make arrangements. It will be necessary for the legal next of kin to provide the Coroner with authorization for release of your loved one, even if someone else is making arrangements. The next of kin should contact the Coroner's Office to authorize the release.
    • How long will it take before my relative/friend is released from your office?

      Generally, release will be made as soon as possible. The Coroner's Office will call you to inform you of the time.
    • Can I donate my relatives organs and tissues?

      South Carolina has a law that provides an opportunity for the next of kin to donate organs and tissues. Donation can dramatically improve, even save the lives of others. We are glad to assist you by contacting the appropriate agency for you so they can explain to you the options and benefits of donating. If you prefer, you may call the American Red Cross at 1-800-922-5986. If the American Red Cross should call you, the Coroner's Office has already given your name and number to them.
    • Will an autopsy be performed?

      The Coroner authorizes an autopsy when one is needed to establish the cause and manner of death. Usually an autopsy is not needed when the death is clearly from "natural causes." Should an autopsy be necessary, the Coroner will certify a death certificate soon after the examinations are complete. Occasionally, extensive testing is required in which an interim death certificate will be signed by the Coroner. A final death certificate will be signed following the completion of special testing.
    • Is it necessary for me to come to the Coroner's Office to identify the body?

      No. In a majority of the cases, visual identification is not necessary to positively identify your loved ones.
    • How will my relative/friend be transported to this facility?

      We will either use Sumter County EMS or a contracted service which is highly professional and experienced in the field of securely transporting the deceased. Transportation is done under the direct supervision of the Coroner's Office.
    • Where will my relative/friend be taken?

      He or she may be taken to the Sumter County Coroner's Office. Sumter County Coroner's Office has facilities to receive and safeguard the deceased at this location.
    • Why is the Coroner involved?

      State Law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of all unexplained, violent or unusual deaths. Certain natural deaths must be investigated as well.