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Information for Families
If you are a loved one of a deceased individual, please accept our sincerest condolences in this difficult time. The following information is here to guide you through the coming days; should you have additional questions, please visit our FAQ Page or call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner’s Unit at (916) 409-8253.
What Happens Now
If your loved one has been taken into our care, a forensic examination will typically occur within 24 to 48 hours after the death being reported. When the examination is complete your loved one will be releasable to a mortuary/funeral home of your choice.
We ask that the legal next of kin contacts a funeral home for arrangements to have their loved one picked up from our office within 72 hours following notification of death. Please let the funeral director know that your loved one is at the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner’s Unit and they will reach out to our office to arrange the transfer. Our office cannot recommend a mortuary/funeral home to you but a list of local choices is available upon request.
Next of Kin Hierarchy
The hierarchy for legal next-of-kin regarding the disposition of a deceased person is determined as follows:
1.) Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA)
2.) Competent legal spouse or registered domestic partner Note: California does not consider common law spouses to be legally binding.
3.) Competent adult children Should there be more than one competent adult child, next-of-kinship is shared equally between them and all Coroner and funeral home paperwork must be signed by the majority of children. Example: Of three adult children, two must sign paperwork.
4.) The surviving competent biological or legally adopted parent or parents of the decedent This does not include step-parents. Should there be more than one legal parent, next-of-kinship is split equally between them.
5.) The sole surviving competent adult sibling of the decedent Should there be more than one competent adult sibling, next-of-kinship is shared equally between them and all Coroner and funeral home paperwork must be signed by the majority of competent siblings. Example: Of three adult siblings, two must sign paperwork.
6.) The surviving competent adult person or persons respectively in the next degree of kinship Should there be more than one adult of the same degree of kinship, next-of-kinship is shared equally between them and all Coroner and funeral home paperwork must be signed by the majority of those persons.
7.) A conservator of the person
8.) A conservator of the estate
9.) The Public Administrator
For more detailed information on Next of Kin Hierarchy you may view the Custody, and Duty of Interment 7100. Health and Safety Code.
Viewing your loved one is not permitted at the Coroner’s Unit. Please contact your funeral director to arrange a viewing.
Placer County offers Indigent Cremation for those who cannot afford final disposition of their loved ones. Please contact Placer County Health and Human Services to apply for this program and determine if you are eligible.
Roseville Office: (916) 784-6011
Auburn Office: (916) 784-6047
As set forth by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, specified in Chapter 3.5 of the Health and Safety Code, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Coroner’s Unit understands the importance of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. It is imperative that our office balances donor services, the wishes of the deceased, their loved ones, and the integrity of the death investigation. In specific instances our office must determine the cause, manner, and circumstances of death prior to releasing the body for donation services; these will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by our Chief Deputy Coroner and forensic pathologists.