The Differences between an Obituary and a Death Notice

Posted on November 8, 2021 by Roslyn Heights Funeral Home under funeral home
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Chances are you’ve seen a formal announcement of a death in the newspaper. But was it an obituary or a death notice? Writing both is one of the services offered by funeral homes in Albertson, NY, and it is common for people to mix them up.

It is important to know the difference. Not just to know the right service to request, but to know which one is better suited to honor your loved one.

Obituary vs. Death Notice – Definition

An obituary is a detailed snapshot of a person’s life used to announce their passing. Besides basic biographical facts like name, age, and date of death, it typically contains information about their life and achievement.

A death notice, on the other hand, is limited to basic biographical facts about the deceased. It can also include information about the funeral service and where to make donations in the deceased’s name.

Essentially, an obituary is editorial and lengthier, while a death notice is shorter and completely factual.

What is the content of each?

A death notice is all about sharing basic biographical information like age, name, date of birth, and death when it comes to content.

It can also include details about funeral arrangements or the memorial service. That includes information like date and venue. Also, when it applies, it has where and how to make donations.

An obituary typically contains all of this woven into a story about the life of the deceased. This may include paragraphs about their hobbies, accomplishments, major life events, and family members.

Who writes them?

Usually, a funeral home writes the death notice based on information shared by the deceased’s family or during preplanning.

The notice is then submitted to a newspaper (national or local) and any other relevant publication. This could be the deceased’s religious or volunteer organization.

Digitally, the death notice could also be submitted to online obituary sites, although most publications automatically publish an online version of the print death notice.

Obituaries are generally written by a family member, the funeral home, or a news publication staff. It, however, requires the skill of a qualified writer.

Many people who want an obituary usually submit a request to the intended newspaper to have it written by their editor or reporter. This applies to other publications from other organizations too.

If they agree, the publication publishes the print and online versions. There are also specialized obituary websites with additional benefits like photo tributes and online guest books.

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Obituary or Death Notice – Which is Cheaper?

Asides from content, price is one of the main differences between them. However, unlike other categories, there is no standard answer.

Publications typically charge by the number of lines or words, so the total cost depends on the content. While that should generally favor death notices, there are additional costs to consider too.

This includes how many days you want it to appear, whether you attach a photograph, and the number of intended publications.

These are the differences between obituaries and death notices, and each one serves its purpose. If you are in the process of choosing one, feel free to reach out to funeral homes in Albertson, NY, like us at Roslyn Heights Funeral Home. Our team of experts will help you make the right decision along with other needs you may have while planning the funeral. You can stop by our location or give us a call right now to get started.