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A simple guide on how to prepare a death notice

Wed 30th Sep 2020

Knowing where to start when writing a death notice can be hard.
Knowing where to start when writing a death notice can be hard.

If you're reading this, you may have found yourself in the position where you've lost a loved one and been tasked with compiling the death notice. Although this may seem overwhelming, hopefully these guidelines and templates can help make this task a little easier.

If you've read obituaries in the newspaper or online, you'll notice that there is a pattern to them. They always have certain elements included and the information flows from specifics of the death and funeral, to details about the deceased and surviving family.

My Tributes have different options to provide families a heartfelt way to communicate a death, by way of a notice, in print and online.

Writing a print death notice

Our advice here is to keep it simple. Often your funeral director will assist you in developing this notice and each company may use a particular template or style.

Here is a generic example of a death notice printed the newspaper:


[LAST NAME, First name]

Late of [Suburb]

Passed away [Date] Age [xx years]

Beloved Husband/Wife/Partner of [Name]

Proud/Loved Father/Mother and Father/Mother-in-Law to [Names]

Adored Grandfather/Grandmother to [Names]


Family and friends are invited to attend [deceased name's] funeral service to be held in the [Name of place where funeral, burial, wake is to be held], [Address incl Street Number, Street Name, Suburb] on [Day, Date, Time].

Any special wishes go next, for example:

  • No flowers by request please
  • Donations to [Charity Name] are greatly appreciated
  • By request of the family, please [eg wear colour] to honour [Deceased's name]

Writing an online death notice

An online notice allows for a little more flexibility. Similarly to the printed notice, the first sentence normally starts with the full name of the deceased, the city in which they lived, the date they died, perhaps where they died and sometimes cause of death.

The next part often tells when and where the deceased was born, and the names of the partner, children, grandchildren, parents and siblings. A list of surviving family members can be found here or at the end of the death notice.

Following on from this, the online death notice notice has space to recount accomplishments and a chronological account of the person's life and education.

The death notice closes with the funeral, burial, wake, or memorial details and a foundation where memorial gifts can be donated.

You can find current examples on My Tributes.

Get started with placing your death notice here.