A death notice is just that, an announcement that there has been a death, while also giving notice of any key details. This is effectively just a public service announcement as there will normally be a limited amount of biographical information.
What's the difference between an obituary and a death notice?
A death notice is a paid advertisement in a newspaper that gives basic details, whereas an obituary can be created as an editorial article and detailed biography.
Whether it is paid for or not and the biographical element is what makes them different. Aside from that, they are pretty similar. Here we’ll go through what information should (or could) be included.
How to write a death notice
The death notice can be broken down into two main sections:
- the details about the deceased
the details about any type of service
Basic information to include:
- Full name, including any middle, maiden or nicknames
- Date and location of death
- Cause of death (optional)
Surviving family members names
Funeral or service details to include:
- Details of service
- If it’s public or private
- Date, time and location (if public)
Name of charities to make donations to
More personal information:
If you want to add more biographical information, you add some of the information written below. It could include:
- Date and place of birth
- Date of marriage and name of spouse
- Personality traits
- Hobbies and interests
- Education history
Organizations or memberships
If you’re writing it more like an obituary, then it’s pretty normal to write about who their surviving family members are and their relationship to the deceased. The amount of detail you add is up to you and you can feel free to go well beyond the usual information on a death notice if you wish.
Death notice example
Full name (DOB DD/MM/YYYY) passed away peacefully on (date) aged (age) at (location of death) in (village), (town/city).
The funeral service will be held on (date) at (time) in (funeral location).
If you’re still unsure, then you can look up your local newspaper and see what other people have written.
Notices are usually going to be in a local newspaper, although you may just decide to post it online. Many local newspapers will publish the notice both in print and online.
Once you’ve found the newspaper you want to publish it in, contact them. They’ll let you know the cost based on words and pictures, and when it needs to be submitted.
After it has been written, it’s a good idea to double-check the information and proofread it a few times. This is not the best place to make a mistake 💛. Maybe get someone else to give it a quick read as well.
Do I need to write a formal notice?
You don’t need to write a death notice but it can be a good way to spread the news and share it with people who would like to know. Social media is another great way to share your message if you don’t want to use a newspaper. It is completely up to you, but remember to honour the deceased how they would have appreciated it ☺️. And this isn't just for death notices, with Bequest, you can get a will that helps your loved ones know what your wishes are. Details are so important.