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Thank you, SW Barratt

Writing a death notice

Why the Term Death Notice NI is Important

Published: March 29, 2024

The popular search term death notice NI where the NI stands for Northern Ireland is a traditional public death notice which informs others of the passing. Death is not something one could ever welcome, but it is a fact of life that every individual has to pass through.

If a dear one dies, we would certainly desire to remember them and bring the sad news to other people. This notice can sometimes be called a passing away notice.

The more modern term of death notice is used to describe an individual leaving behind a list of their online and other accounts, to assist whoever has the task of sorting out and closing these accounts after their death.

In both these cases a death notice is both important and effective. In this article, we explain what a death notice is in detail, its importance, and how to write one.

What is a traditional death notice NI?

A death notice/Funeral notice/Obituary notice in Northern Ireland or elsewhere is a public notice regarding an individual’s death. It normally appears in local newspapers and/or online, for instance, on the Funeral Times platform or Legacy.com

The death notice commonly comprises details regarding the individual who has passed away, including the name, date, and location of death and plans for the funeral. It informs the public, and invites those who interacted with the individual to pay their respects.

Modern use of the term death notice

A more modern use of death notice usually means an individual writing out a list of their different online and other account details. Although a lot of importance is quite correctly placed on writing a will, equal importance should be placed on writing a death notice containing all your up to date online account details.

This important information can then easily be accessed by a trusted relative or executor of a will to sort out and if needed close down the various accounts of the deceased. Having all the details to hand in one document is obviously a lot easier for the person having to deal with important financial matters at a stressful time, or simple duties such as a library card account. In today’s modern world many people have online accounts with no paperwork at their home as many companies now encourage paper free as they want to be seen as environmentally friendly.

Examples of what accounts and the details of that you should list:

  • Bank
  • Building society
  • Social security
  • Credit card
  • Mobile telephone
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Streaming services i.e Netflix, Apple TV 
  • Clubs, organisations
  • Library membership

Does the law require death notices?

It must be noted that a death notice or an obituary, which traditionally appear in newspapers or online to notify the wider society, are not a legal requirement. This is something that is usually done by family members or the funeral home handling the arrangements. 

However, it is often advisable to place a notification of the death in a newspaper so that any relatives which may be entitled to a share of the estate will not have cause to later contest/claim on the grounds that there was no public notification.

What differentiates a death notice from an obituary?

As previously explained, passing away notices are short announcements with information about the deceased and the service that should be held. It is, as a rule, done by the family or a funeral director and gets published in a daily newspaper and/or online.

An obituary, on the other hand, is a longer piece generally in which the accomplishments in the life of the deceased are honoured. Normally written by a journalist or a friend, an obituary is a piece that could include personal narratives or tributes.

Why write a traditional death notice in NI or elsewhere?

A death notice in NI or elsewhere is a way of paying respect and honouring a person after death. It concerns several aspects of relevance not only for the family but also for the general public. The main information that may be found in a death notice should ideally be kept simple and include:

  • The name of the deceased 
  • Date of death
  • Details of the funeral/memorial service

However other details such as those listed below can also be included if need be.

  • Where, when, and how the person died
  • Time, date, and place of the funeral service
  • Inviting addresses to send condolences, flowers, or a donation
  • Thanking other people for their help and sympathy
  • Mentioning the age, and other information in relation to the life of the deceased, like profession, hobbies, things he/she excelled in, and personality
  • Share feelings and some of the memories about the deceased by the family and friends
  • Celebration of the life and legacy of the deceased

What to include in a death notice

A death notice NI or wherever presents the deceased in an honourable manner. It begins with a name, the date of birth, then death info, followed by the family ties. A cherished photo, major accomplishments, and personal interests are added to this story. It leads the mourners to funeral details and, from there, to special requests and contact information. Keep in mind that this tribute is a personal path and that the words you choose should reflect the respect and love you had for the one departed.

How much does it cost to place a public death notice in a newspaper?

The cost to put a public notice of death in a newspaper in Northern Ireland, or elsewhere in the UK, will vary. In most cases, the cost depends on the newspaper and the length of the notice.

For example, the Belfast Telegraph offers a service for death notices online and in print. Notices booked through their website are scheduled for online publication no more than three days after their print publication.

According to a Funeral Notices estimate, a standard main notice in a local newspaper costs between £100 and £150. But contacting the newspaper would be a good idea to get the correct information.

Further, when giving a death notice in a newspaper, you must consider the different demands and limitations of newspapers—like pictures, character lengths, and other limited content.

How do you find a death registration?

Death certificate

In Northern Ireland, there are several sources for finding  the details of a death. General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) is among the major sources. GRONI offers a name search that lists the number of records fitting into each of the registrations: birth, death, or marriage, free of charge.

For England: General Register Office (GRO)

For Scotland: National Records of Scotland (NRS)

The notices are also published in the local newspapers, including the Belfast print or online. Optionally, you could also look up death notices from websites such as the Telegraph and The Irish News. They normally appear in the obituary sections or offer specialised services in death notices, like Funeral Times and Funeral Notices. You will, on their sites, search or browse the death notices on name, date, location, or keyword.

More information on death certificates can be found by visiting the link.

Tips to write an obituary/death notice

Writing a death notice is not easy, considering that you are grieving, and it is time-consuming. However, the following is a guide on how to write a death notice.

Gather the needed information

Before beginning to write a death notice, you need to get the essential details about the deceased. This should contain the full names, dates of birth, and death, including the cause of death if this fact is to be stated, and the names of the members of their immediate surviving family. It would be helpful if the will of the dead person was requested for any special requests or preferences that they might have had for their obituary notice or funeral.

Choose a suitable format and medium

You can run a passing away notice in a local or national newspaper, like the Belfast Telegraph. The other option would be one of the websites that specifically cater to death announcements, such as Funeral Times. They all have their pros and cons in terms of charges, scope, and flexibility. Choose the format and medium according to your budget, audience, and style. Also, make sure the guidelines and deadlines of your chosen option are duly followed. In addition, it is necessary to provide contact information.

Write a clear and concise announcement

The death notice begins with an announcement, a gentle whisper of the departed’s journey’s end. It would read “(full name), found peace at (place) on (date), aged (age) years. A farewell service at (place) on (date) at (time). Family flowers only, please. Kindly consider donations to (charity).” That structure could be subject to some degree of alteration, but the sense of it should be maintained. Add a touch of context like “peacefully,” “suddenly,” or “after a long illness” to depict their final moments.

Write a personal and meaningful tribute

The other part of the notice of death is the tribute, which is an echo of your thoughts and feelings. It can be interwoven with elements of their profession, interests, and accomplishments to have a feeling of an individual’s personality. This, though optional, brings about a personal touch and makes the notice resonate with the reader. Designed in the first or third person, it may be embossed with quotes, verses, or even songs that will evoke the essence of the departed. End it with some touching phrases like “always in our hearts,” “rest in peace,” or “gone but not forgotten.”

Proofread and revise

Correct and edit for misspellings, grammatical errors, and punctuation. Review the contents for accuracy. Ensure that it is all correct, is of the right length, and is in the right format. Finally, re-read it out loud to yourself. Let the rhythm and flow of words guide you when making any changes.

Publish and share the death notice

Contact your chosen newspaper or website and follow its instructions. Be aware that there will be costs involved in placing a death announcement in the media. Keep a copy for yourself and also for your family. Additionally you could widen its circulation through links on social sites like Facebook or Twitter, soliciting messages of condolence and support.


In conclusion, a death notice in NI or anywhere becomes a lighthouse in a storm of grief, a means of inviting a given community to come to support the grieving family. It is not just a notice but almost like a tribute to a life journey, an invitation to share a remembrance. In essence, a death notice is just a heartfelt expression of respect for the deceased and a comforting hand for the living.

If you would like to learn more about locating low-cost funerals, low-cost headstones, natural burials, DIY funerals, free financial help from the Government and charities as well as bereavement support, then please visit Save Funeral Costs™

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SW Barratt
Founder: SW Barratt

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