How to Inform Someone of a Death by Email
Death notices and announcements used to be placed in the local paper as a way of notifying the local community that a death has occurred. The purpose of this was also to notify any possible beneficiaries of the deceased so that they were aware when time came to look over the will and get in touch with beneficiaries and family members. Nowadays, it can be kind of confusing to know exactly where and how to share the announcement that a death has occurred, but it’s still an important step to take.
Why is it important to send out a death notification?
Sending out a death notification is important so that people are aware a death has occurred. Many people will want to attend the services, send their condolences, make a donation, or support the family in any way they can after they’ve lost someone.
What’s the easiest way to send out a death notification letter?
You usually want to notify as many people as possible about a death as quickly as possible, since arrangements after someone has passed away tend to move quickly. This means you should almost always send out a death notification letter to friends and family through the internet -- either through social media, email, messaging apps, or through text to let everyone know as fast as possible.
Email is an easy and quick way to let others know that a death has occurred, especially if you have a lot of older folks who aren’t technically savvy or who don’t use social media as a primary method of communication.
What should you do before sending a death announcement email?
If you’re sending out a death announcement through email, it can help to already have a memorial website set up pre-emptively that you can share with those you’re emailing. Memorial websites are places where you can post funeral event information, collect RSVPs, collect and share condolences, and much, much more. They also reduce the number of messages you need to send by holding all the important information and conversations in one place.
When is it best to send out a death notification by email?
Sending out a notification by email is appropriate in many cases, but especially when you're trying to alert acquaintances, coworkers, distant family members, and other community members who should learn about the death. In the case where you need to alert a close family member or close friend of the deceased, an email is typically not the best method of notification. In these cases, you'll want to give this news in person or over the phone if at all possible.
Death announcement sample emails
Here are some examples of death announcement wording when sending out a death announcement email:
Subject: Our beloved [name], age [age], has passed away
Message: To our wonderful friends and family, we mournfully announce the passing of [full name] on [date]. [First name] was a pillar in our family and community and their passing is completely unexpected. [First name] wanted [his/her] ashes scattered at [location], so we will be holding an ash scattering ceremony in the coming weeks. Please check out the memorial website we’ve set up for [him/her] to stay in the loop on event information. Our family would also love to see any and all photos you have of [first name], so feel free to contribute!
Subject: [name], age [age], has passed away
Message: To our community, we regretfully announce the passing of [full name] on [date]. We would be touched if you helped us memorialize [first name]’s life by joining us in a celebration of life on [date] at [time]. It would mean a lot if you brought some of your favorite memories to share with others attending. There will be a lantern release in [first name]’s honor near the end of the ceremony. Please head to our memorial website to keep up to date on funeral event information and to share your memories and photos of [first name].
Subject: The [last name]’s announce the passing of [full name]
Message: On [date], our family lost our cherished [first name] after [he/she] succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident. Our family would love to see those who [first name] loved most gathered to celebrate [his/her] life at our home on [date] at [time]. Please RSVP on the memorial website, which you can find here: [link]
Subject: Our brightest star, [Full name], has passed away at the age of [age]
Message: Friends and family, it’s with heavy hearts and great difficulty that we announce the passing of [full name]. [Full name] passed away on [date] at [time] surrounded by [his/her] loved ones. [First name] requested a private service with only immediate family present, which our family will be honoring. Please join us in remembering [first name] by posting to [his/her] memorial website with your most cherished memories and photos.
Subject: We regret to inform you that [full name] has passed away
Message: Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of [full name], who unexpectedly passed away after an accident. We want to honor their wonderful life by inviting their loved ones to our home for an intimate celebration of life. We’re still working out the details for this event, but will keep you up to date along the way.
Death announcement email to staff
If you’re a manager or coworker and are sending out death announcement email to staff, here are some ways you could word those emails:
Subject: [position title], [full name], has passed away
Message: It is with greatest sadness that we inform you of the passing of [full name]. [First name] passed away on [date]. [He/She] has been an important and vibrant member of our team since [starting year] and will be dearly missed.
A celebration of life for [first name] will be held at [location] on [date] at [time. Any employees who wish to attend these services are excused from work and should let their direct supervisor know in advance. If you can’t attend the services, you are welcome to attend the livestream that will be showing at the time of the celebration of life.
HR is here to assist you with any questions you may have and will be providing extended grief services during this time. Feel free to reach out to HR by email at [email] or stop by the office onsite between the hours of [hours].
To offer your condolences to the family, you can visit the memorial website here:
Subject: We regretfully announce the passing of [position title], [full name]
Message: Dear team,
Our [full name], [position title], passed away after [cause of death]. [He/she] was an incredible part of the team and we will dearly miss [his/her] brightness and positivity. We know this loss may be difficult to handle or process. HR is open and available to assist you in dealing with this loss in the coming days and weeks.
A funeral will be held at [location] on [date] at [time]. Any of those who wish to attend the funeral during work hours can notify their manager. We are making a donation as a company to [cause name] in honor of [name], a cause they cared deeply about. To make your own donation or to offer condolences to [name]’s family, please visit [name]’s memorial website, here: [link]
Respectfully, [Company name / your name]
Subject: [Full name], age [age], of [department name] has passed away
[Full name], an inspiring, hilarious, and compassionate manager in the [department name] department has sadly passed away as of yesterday. [He/she] was [age] and will be dearly missed by everyone at [company name]. The family is requesting people visit [name]’s memorial website for event information and to keep in touch with everyone who has lost this important person.
Best, [Your name]
Death announcement email subject lines
If you’ve already written the message and are just looking for death announcement email subject line ideas, here are some to get you started:
Subject: We regretfully announce the passing of [full name]
Subject: Our family mournfully announces the passing of [full name]
Subject: [Full name] - [age] - passed away on [date]
Subject: Please join us in remembering the life of [full name]
Subject: We are saddened to announce the passing of [full name]
Subject: Our cherished friend, [full name], has passed away
You can use the content of these emails in other forms of communication (such as letters, texts, or messages sent on other platforms) as well, if email isn’t your preferred method of communication.
In any case, setting up a memorial website is an easy way to inform your friends, family, and community about a death. You can easily set up the website in less than 10 minutes and share it via email (or Facebook or text message).