A death notice is a notice or announcement of someone's death, often published in a newspaper or online. It is typically a brief statement that includes the person's name, age, place of residence, date and place of death and any funeral or memorial service arrangements. Death notices may also include information about the person's family and any survivors and any details about the cause of death. They may be published by the person's family, friends, or the organisation responsible for the funeral or memorial service. Death notices help to inform the person's community and allow people to express their condolences and pay their respects.
What should be included in a death notice or obituary?
- Name of the deceased: This is typically the full name of the person who has died
- Age: The person's age at the time of their death
- Place of residence: The town or city where the person lived
- Date and place of death: The death notice will typically include the date and place where the person died.
- Funeral or memorial service information: This may include the date, time, and location of any funeral or memorial service, as well as any other details about the service.
- Family and survivors: The death notice may include information about the person's family and any surviving family members.
- Cause of death: The cause of death may be included, depending on the wishes of the person's family and the circumstances of the death.
- In memoriam or condolences: Many death notices include a message in memoriam or an expression of condolences from the person's family or friends.
- Contact information: The death notice may include contact information for the person's family or the organisation handling the funeral or memorial service so that people can express their condolences or offer support.
It is common for death notices to include information about the person's membership in organisations or clubs, as well as their hobbies and interests. This can give a sense of the person's life and character and allow people to remember them more personally. Some examples of things that might be included in a death notice in this regard include:
- Professional memberships or affiliations: If the person was a professional organisation or association member, this might be mentioned in the death notice.
- Community involvement: If the person was active in their community, this might be mentioned in the death notice. This could include participation in local organisations or clubs, volunteering, or other types of community service.
- Hobbies and interests: The death notice may include information about the person's hobbies and interests, such as sports, music, or other activities that they enjoyed.
- Accomplishments: If the person had notable accomplishments, such as awards, certifications, or other achievements, these might be mentioned in the death notice.
Including this type of information can give a fuller picture of the person's life and allow people to remember them more meaningfully.
Tips for writing a death notice or obituary
See our advice on writing a death notice below:
- Keep it brief: A death notice is typically a brief announcement of someone's death, so it's essential to keep the information concise.
- Include the essential details: The most crucial information in a death notice is the person's name, age, place of residence, date and place of death, and any funeral or memorial service information.
- Use a formal tone: A death notice is a formal document, so it's important to use a respectful and dignified tone.
- Consider the audience: Consider who will be reading the death notice and what information they might be interested in. For example, suppose the person had a large extended family. In that case, include information about any surviving family members.
- Use proper grammar and spelling: Be sure to proofread the death notice carefully to ensure that it is free of errors.
- Consider including a message in memoriam or an expression of condolences: This can be a way to honour the person's memory and allow people to express their condolences.
- Include contact information: It's helpful to include contact information for the person's family or the organisation handling the funeral or memorial service, so that people can express their condolences or offer support.
Writing a death notice or obituary can be a challenging and emotional task. Still, it is also an opportunity to honour and remember the person who has passed away. By following these tips and best practices, you can create a thoughtful and meaningful tribute that captures the essence of the person's life and legacy. Whether you are writing for a newspaper, or a website, or to share with friends and family, a well-written death notice or obituary can be a powerful way to celebrate the life of someone who has meant a lot to you.