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What is a Death Notice?

After someone dies, knowing the type of announcement to post can be difficult. Should you publish an obituary? Post a death notice? A funeral notice? Are these postings required by law? This process can be confusing, so a brief overview of the differences between these common death notifications can be useful.

What is a death notice?

A death notice is a public announcement of someone's death, typically published in a newspaper. A death notice is different from an obituary in that it is usually briefer and contains less information about the deceased person's life. Death notices are sometimes required by law, depending on the jurisdiction.

What are funeral notices?

Funeral notices are similar to death notices, but are typically published closer to the date of the funeral service. Funeral notices usually contain more information about the service itself, such as the time and location, while death notices may not contain any information about services.

What is the difference between an obituary and a death notice?

An obituary is a longer, more detailed account of someone's life that serves as their life's history and record. An obituary may be written by the family or friends of the deceased person, or by a professional obituary writer. Death notices are typically much shorter and contain only essential information about the person's death. An obituary might include description of the individual's personality, passions, hobbies, career, family history, favorites (and least favorites), service information, etc.. Meanwhile, a death notice typically contains the full name of the decedent, their date of passing, the location, and sometimes whether or not there are services taking place.

Where are death notices typically published?

Death notices are typically published in the local newspaper where the deceased person lived. Today's death notices are most often posted online and accompanied by a death notice published in the newspaper, if one is required to notify creditors. If you want to maximize the number of people that are aware of the passing of an individual, publishing a newspaper death notice is often not the best choice.

Consider publishing a death notice to creditors in the newspaper alongside publishing an obituary or announcement of death online. Publishing an obituary online with Ever Loved is entirely free.

Publish a free obituary

How much does it cost to place a public notice of death in the newspaper?

The cost of placing a death notice in the newspaper varies depending on the publication and the length of the notice. In general, you should expect to pay around $50 - $200 for a newspaper death notice. Some newspapers will let you publish a death notice for free and some may charge you a fee for publishing a death notice. Generally, death notices are less expensive than posting an obituary in a newspaper since they are typically much shorter in content and length.

If you are looking for a death notice for someone who has recently passed away, the best place to start is your local newspaper. Many newspapers have an online database where you can search for death notices.

You can also try searching for "death notice" + the deceased person's name in a search engine like Google or searching through Ever Loved's posted obituaries.

Are death notices required by law?

Death notices are sometimes required by law as a part of the probate process. When the jurisdiction you're operating under requires you to publish a probate notice in the newspaper, it's typically so that any interested creditors can be notified of the death. By publishing a notice to creditors in the newspaper, you give any creditors or interested parties ample time to file any claims against the estate to recoup debts they may be owed. You should consult with your local probate court regarding whether or not it's required that you publish a public death notice as part of probate, if the estate of the deceased is subject to probate.

Death notice examples

Death notices are typically short pieces of writing that include only essential information. Generally, a death notice will include the following pieces of information:

  • The name of the deceased
  • The birthdate of the deceased
  • The date and location of death
  • The date, time, and location of the funeral service

Here are a few examples of a death notice:

Example 1

John Doe, age 54, passed away on January 1st, 2020 at his home in Los Angeles, California. A funeral service will be held on January 10th, 2020 at 2:00pm at St. John's Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

Example 2

Mary Smith, age 78, of Boston, Massachusetts passed away on February 14th, 2020. A funeral service will be held on March 1st at 11:00am at the First Baptist Church of Boston. Mary was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who will be deeply missed by her family and friends.

Example 3

Katie Lu of Sacramento, CA passed away on March 3rd, 2021. Katie was born on January 18th, 1972. Private services will be held.

As you can see, death notices are typically short and to the point. They often include information about the funeral service so that friends and family of the deceased can attend, if they wish. Death notices may also include information about where to send donations in lieu of flowers, if applicable.

While death notices are generally shorter than obituaries, they still provide essential information about the death of a loved one. If you're looking for an easy way to notify others of a death, consider starting a memorial website with Ever Loved. Creating a memorial website is a free and easy way to share information about the death of a loved one with family and friends. You can use Ever Loved's online memorial builder to create a beautiful and unique website for your loved one in just minutes.

Create a memorial website

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Last updated July 20, 2022
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