Death Notices

A death notice is a paid announcement in a newspaper that gives the name of the person who died, details of the funeral or memorial service, where donations can be made in the deceased’s name and some amount of biographical information.

You can write and submit a death notice to local or national newspapers and have them publish the notice for a fee.

These usually follow a standard format from local newspapers, right up to national broadsheets. The easiest way to word them is to look at someone else’s in the press and 'copy' the format.

Example of a notice

Florence, (Flo) Nee Evans. Peacefully in Katharine House Hospice on 14 May aged 69 years. Beloved wife of the late William, a much loved mother of David and a dear sister to Betty and the late Eddie. Funeral Service at St Paul's Church on Monday 20 May at 12noon followed by cremation at Stafford Crematorium. Family flowers only please, donations if desired to (Charity or Organisation name) c/o (Name and Address of Funeral Directors)

Points to note

If someone was always known by a nickname, it is acceptable to use this in the notice.

Using a maiden name for ladies may be useful to inform old friends of the death.

It is best to not go into too much detail over the cause of death, as most papers do not allow this. Please also consider whether the deceased person would want their age displayed in the paper. Some may wish to keep this information private.

When considering next of kin, this usually goes in the following order:

  • Spouse, for example "beloved wife of the late William"
  • Children, the oldest child is usually specified first.
  • Siblings, if any.
  • In-laws can also be mentioned, however isn't necessary.
  • Grandchildren, for example "devoted grandmother" or "loving grandfather".

It is important to check over the notice, get someone else to check spellings and to make sure no-one has been left out. It's also important to keep the notice simple; it can be upsetting for a family if any mistakes are made.

Service dates and times

If there is a service in church, the only real point to note is whether you want the committal part private and just for family only. For example, if the interment or the committal is at the crematorium, this should be stated in the notice.


When considering donations, please mention the charity by name so those who wish can make cheques out to the charity concerned. It is usually better for the Funeral Director to handle all of the donations on your behalf. 

A few weeks after the service they will send you a list of all the people that have made donations and the total amount. They will then pass these on to the charity concerned and ask them to acknowledge their safe receipt to you.

Do not put your full address in the press, some people have been the target of crime as it lets the public know when your home will be empty. Most papers will not allow your full address to be published.

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