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How Do You Write a Funeral Notice?

When a loved one dies, it can feel overwhelming. However, despite the stress and anxiety of the situation, several tasks must be carried out, including writing a funeral notice. A funeral notice is a way to notify family, friends, and acquittances of the deceased that they have passed on. Some may be close, while others may not have been in touch for some years. Whatever the case, it is helpful to place a funeral notice in the newspaper so that as many people as possible are notified about what happened and can make arrangements to condole the family and be at the funeral. This written formal notification is also an opportunity to let family, friends and acquittances know if there are any instructions that they should be made aware of or special instructions regarding the funeral. It could be anything from not sending flowers to a notice that the burial is to be attended only by immediate family. It may also include some pertinent details that the family is willing to share as to how the death occurred. Funeral notices can however be expensive, often costing over $500 to have published in a newspaper. The larger the size of the notification and the more details that are included, the more expensive it becomes. It is important to take the time and carefully compile what information you want included while considering how it will impact the cost. Do not be too frugal as this is one of the final acts you will perform for the deceased and sufficient information should be included. There are no set rules on the format of funeral notices. There are, however, certain pieces of information that should be included to provide readers with helpful information they can rely on when deciding how to be a part of the deceased’s farewell. You can use this list to ensure that you do not miss out on anything important.

Information to include in a Funeral Notice

  • The name of the deceased

    This should be the deceased person’s full name and include any nicknames they may have been known as. Their age may also be indicated.
  • Date and location of their passing

    Include the date on which they died and where it occurred.
  • Immediate Relations

    Start with the closest family members such as the spouse and any children, in the order of birth from oldest to youngest.
  • Relatives

    You can also include family members in the wider family circle such as parents, siblings, grandchildren and so on.
  • Memorable Achievements

    List any memorable achievements or accomplishments that the deceased person earned in their lifetime. Stick to mainly adult accomplishments in their career, military service, and/or community service.
  • Funeral director details

    The funeral director’s details are usually published at the end of the notice in case there is a need for anyone that sees the notice to get in touch with the family. The deceased person’s details are not included to preserve the privacy of the family.

Tips for when writing a funeral notice

  1. Consult close family and friends

    To ensure accuracy and that all relevant information is included in the notice, hold a meeting with close family and friends to go over the details. This can also be a good opportunity to go over the funeral service arrangements and work out the budget. Also, ensure you have the correct spelling for everyone’s names that will be mentioned.
  2. Proofread the notice

    It can be embarrassing to realise you made a small typo or other mistakes when writing the funeral notice. Have several people read it over to ensure everything is in order.
  3. Know the budget

    Most people will have a budget to work with so consult with the newspaper you intend to publish the notice and find out their rates. This will let you know how many words or lines of lettering you have to work with and allow you to edit accordingly to fit the budget.
  4. Check out templates

    You can find many examples of layouts for funeral notices and the order in which the information required is organised. You can easily find this online or even in old newspapers. Use this as a helpful guide in deciding what kind of layout you want.
  5. Focus on celebrating life

    Even if many people will be curious about how the person died, it is best to limit the details you publish about this. The goal should be to focus on celebrating their life and dwelling on whatever circumstances under which they passed on.
  6. Choose the right outlet

    When choosing what newspaper to publish the funeral notice, focus on one that will have the widest outreach amongst family and friends of the deceased. You may find that although the person lived in the city, their family and friends mainly reside in their hometown where they will be buried. It may, therefore, make more sense to publish the notice in the local newspaper than in the city. If they have an online version, have the notice published there as well.

Academy Funeral Services is part of Heaven Address, an online community where families can share precious memories of loved ones.