A death notice is a an announcement of a person’s death, published online or in a local newspaper. Written by family members, death notices often inform readers of the name, age and place of residence of the deceased, and where the funeral service will be held.

 

Here’s how to write a death notice:

  1. Find a website or newspaper to place the death notice in.
  2. If a newspaper, find out the deadline to submit the death notice by and the cost.
  3. Write out all the information to go into the death notice, including full name, place of residence and age.
  4. Proofread and then submit for publication

It’s worth reading a few other death notices to get a feel for the format and tone. If you’re submitting the death notice to a newspaper, it’s a good idea to try to write something in the paper’s style, so there is less likelihood the announcement will be rewritten. You should also check your writing for any spelling errors, or ask a friend to read it over for you.

While online death notices tend not to charge at all, newspapers tend to charge by length, so the aim is to make the death notice as concise as possible. You can go through what you’ve written and cross out any words that are unnecessary or repeat what you’ve already said. The newspaper will usually quote you a price per word, or give a standard price for, say, 200 words. If the newspaper posts the death notices online, it’s worth asking if you can submit a longer piece for the website – it should not cost any extra to do this.

When it comes to submitting the death notice, online often works best as it reaches the newspaper email inbox immediately and it reduces the number of errors. Most daily newspapers have a deadline for tomorrow’s paper at around 4 or 5pm. Some newspapers are flexible with deadlines and there may be some leeway to submit after the deadline, but the notice is more likely to be printed with mistakes.

You can create an online obituary or death notice for free here on the Beyond site. There’s no submission deadline, strict word count, or fee – and our service includes a lot of useful extras, like ways for friends and family to RSVP for the service or share messages, photos and videos, fundraising for charitable donations, and maps for the location of the funeral and wake.

 

What information should a death notice contain?

  • Full name of the deceased
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Village, town or city of residence when they passed away
  • Name of significant other
  • Time, date and location of funeral service (If the date has not yet been set, you can include the name of the funeral director you are using or your own mobile number)

It can also contain other information, such as:

  • Employment history
  • Educational background
  • Place of birth
  • Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren
  • Accomplishments
  • Pets
  • Hobbies
  • Date of marriage
  • Personality traits and anecdotes

Decide what the most crucial details are. Focus on their life and what brought them joy, instead of how they died. You can also specify whether the family is accepting flowers or donations, and mention what organisation contributions can be sent to. We have some more useful tips on writing an obituary-style death notice here.

Often funeral directors will organise the death notice for you. On Beyond you can see whether or not a funeral director will offer this as a service on their profiles when you compare funeral directors near you.

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