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Why are Obituaries so Expensive?

With the invention of the internet, more and more families are turning to online platforms to publish and share an obituary after a loved one dies. While publishing an obituary in the newspaper may seem like the “typical” thing to do, one drawback that may surprise you is the cost. Countless families are typically shocked at the amount of money a newspaper will charge to have a simple 4-5 sentence obituary published in the paper, frequently several hundred dollars. If you're looking into publishing prices and considering your options, here's some things to keep in mind when it comes to the price of obituaries.

Why does it cost so much to post an obituary in the paper?

At one point, posting an obituary in the newspaper was the only way you could share information on the death of a loved one in a widespread way. It was an easy way to alert the community that a death had occurred and was the best way to communicate important event information regarding the funeral or other services that were to take place. (Nowadays, posting an obituary solely in the newspaper may have the opposite effect in that it definitely won't reach as many people and is not an effective way to share event details if you're planning on having this as your only method of communicating important information.) Since newspapers were the best and (sometimes, only) method of communication, they could afford to charge what they wanted. Additionally, newspapers have to print out obituaries when they're published. This means paper, ink, and time go into the total cost of an obituary being published.

Is it cheaper to publish an obituary in a local newspaper?

Publishing local newspaper obituaries can reduce the cost (especially when compared to big name newspapers such as The Boston Globe), but it doesn't make the obituary cost nothing. Publishing an obituary in the newspaper will almost always cost you money (and usually a good chunk of money, at that). To avoid paying hundreds of dollars for a black and white photo accompanied by a few sentences, it's best practice to post the obituary online. If you post an obituary online and would still like to submit the obituary to a local newspaper, check out this obituary prices list for more information.

Do you have to put an obituary in the paper?

One major mistake you can make when publishing an obituary is assuming the obituary has to be published in the newspaper. The good news is -- it doesn't! You are not required to publish an obituary in the newspaper (or anywhere, for that matter), even if you feel pressure to do so. Obituaries were traditionally published in the newspaper because it was one of the only ways to share an obituary with friends and family. But now, more than ever before, families are turning to online platforms like Ever Loved after a loved one has passed away.

Why should I post an obituary online?

Posting an obituary online through Ever Loved has many benefits, some of which include:

  • Quick and easy to set up. Posting an obituary on Ever Loved can be done in under 10 minutes (even less if you already have the obituary written). There's no long and drawn out process or confusing publishing times and prices to contend with. It's as simple as filling in a few fields, pasting in the obituary, and sharing it with your friends and family.
  • Free templates to get you started. Don't know where to start? Not sure how to write an obituary? Ever Loved has over 65 templates for you to use and customize to your liking -- all for free.
  • Easily shareable. Once you've finished posting your obituary, you can share it with your friends and family with ease. Simply copy the link, send them an emailed invite, or post the site directly to Facebook.
  • Unlimited space with formatting options. Obituaries posted on Ever Loved have no character limit and give you ample space to share the story of your loved one. You won't need to worry about running out of room or being unable to include special details from the person's life that you may have had to leave out in a newspaper obituary.
  • Unlimited room for photos, videos, condolences, and more. Online obituaries on Ever Loved aren't just limited to the obituary itself -- your Ever Loved memorial site comes with tons of features including fundraising capabilities, the ability to collect condolences and photos, share event information, collect RSVPs, and let your community know how they can best support you during this time.
  • Ever Loved obituaries are entirely free! Last but not least, obituaries posted on Ever Loved are entirely free and they stay up indefinitely. There's no need to pay hundreds of dollars to post an online obituary so you're free to use those funds towards other funeral expenses or unexpected costs.

Publish an obituary

Why do people still publish obituaries in the paper?

Some families publish obituaries in the newspaper because they feel like it's the only way to honor their loved one. Publishing an obituary in a newspaper can sometimes be seen as more "traditional" than publishing online, which is why some families still choose to publish this way. At the same time, obituaries that are only published in local newspapers are often overlooked or not found by many individuals who wish to read the obituary. If your family chooses to publish an obituary in the local paper, it's important to keep in mind what goes along with that.

Regardless of your decision to post in a local newspaper, it's almost always a good idea to post an additional copy of the obituary online with a platform like Ever Loved.

What is the average cost of an obituary in the newspaper?

According to Neptune Society, the average cost of an obituary posted in the newspaper begins around $200 in the United States but grows in price as content is added. This cost is typically for a standard obituary posted in a paper with a photo attached. Keep in mind that this pricing is typically for a shorter obituary with only the most pertinent information included, making the cost a tough sell for many families who are already struggling to cover funeral expenses.

Whether you choose to publish an obituary in the newspaper or not, remember that posting an obituary online is generally a good idea, no matter which route you choose to go. Posting online has many benefits and advantages and is (possibly, most importantly), free!

Publish an obituary

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Last updated November 17, 2021
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