What is a death notice?

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A death notice is a paid notice, generally in a newspaper, that announces the death of an individual and details of the funeral or memorial service. It can also contain other information such as cause of death, surviving family members and so on. The content of the notice is at the complete discretion of the person placing – and paying for – the notice.

White Dove can arrange for the publication of a death notice on your behalf in Melbourne’s Herald Sun. This is included in our burial and cremation packages.

What to include in a death notice

A basic death notice will include:

  • The name of the deceased (including any middle names, nicknames or maiden name)
  • Date of death
  • Location of death
  • Cause of death (optional)
  • Funeral or memorial service details (including any special requests such as donations to a charity in lieu of flowers)
  • Names of surviving family members (optional)

Additional information that may be included:

  • Date and location of birth
  • Religion
  • Name of spouse, date and location of marriage
  • Details of education (schools, universities, area of study, any honours received)
  • Career details including accomplishments and recognition
  • Military service details (including any awards or honours received)
  • Hobbies and special interests (including membership of clubs or groups)
  • Other special accomplishments not covered by the above

Tips for writing a death notice

  1. Decide who is responsible for the death notice. It can be anyone connected to the deceased, next of kin, a relative or friend. Your funeral director can also make the arrangements on your behalf.
  1. Make sure all the information is accurate. Collaborate with a few different people to ensure that the details are correct.
  1. Consider your budget for the death notice as this may limit the scope of the information you include. For example, naming all the grandchildren or great-grandchildren can significantly add to the cost of the notice.
  1. Have the death notice proof-read for spelling, grammar and other errors.

What’s the difference between a death notice and an obituary?

An obituary is a longer form narrative of the deceased life. It’s usually written by the staff of the newspaper although smaller local publications may accept obituaries written by someone connected to the deceased. The obituary includes biographical information of the deceased, such as life achievements, awards and honours. It can also highlight career achievements, membership of clubs or organisations, and comments from third parties.

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