B P Collins spoke to Jack Kenyon from Arnold Funeral Service, based in Buckinghamshire, about the options available when announcing the death of a loved one.

Traditional vs online death announcements 

There are various ways to announce the death of a loved one – it could be by email, letter, phone or text, which may be time consuming, but the message can be tailored to whoever you’re contacting and made more personal.

In order to reach as many people as possible, families may choose a notice in local or national newspapers such as the Times, Guardian or Telegraph.

Although newspapers are still a popular option, especially for letting the older generation know of a recent death, there is a rapidly growing preference to compliment this notice with a post on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. It has now become a trusted way of making an important announcement, particularly amongst younger generations.

Death notices on social media have also become popular because of the immediacy in which people can comment to offer their condolences and sympathies, which may be of huge comfort to the bereaved.

What should a death announcement say?

It’s important to include the correct details, so the person reading the notice knows it’s the right person that has died. For example, include their full name, the area they lived, perhaps the job they had and the day and date they passed away.

Some people prefer to add some further detail. For example, that they died suddenly; peacefully in their sleep or was surrounded by their family.

Perhaps a sentiment might be included such as they leave behind a loving wife, children and grandchildren.

What should a funeral announcement say?

Key information should include whether the funeral will be private or an open service to anyone who knew the deceased.

If open, the time, date, location of the service and instructions, such as a dress code could be included. The funeral director’s contact details should be available, so people can contact them for further information on the service. This is helpful for the loved ones left behind, as it can avoid several unwanted phone calls.

People also like to know whether flowers should be sent, or if they can donate to a charity.

Funeral directors can provide a template, which helps friends and family know what to include, and equally as important, what not to include.

Creating a digital memorial

Online memorials are becoming increasingly popular. Today, people want to create a place where their loved one will be remembered that’s easy to access, is private, interactive and can be completely personalised. It can also be edited anytime they wish, and the amount of information shown is controlled by the owner of the page.

When someone passes away, the family may want to create something good out of their grief. Asking people to donate to a charity that helped the deceased or one they were passionate about, is a good way of doing that. The charity can be added to the memorial page making it easy for those who wish to donate.

Muchloved.com is a key example, which specialises in memorial tributes. A funeral director can create a page, then assign it to a guardian, who is a family member or friend of the deceased. They can subsequently add videos, photos, tributes, which provide great memories of those who passed away. The level of personalisation and the ability to edit whenever you want is useful and donating to a charity is as easy as it would be through Justgiving.

For further information on Arnold Funeral Service: www.arnold-funerals.co.uk

For advice and guidance surrounding the death of a loved one, contact our private client team on enquiries@bpcollins.co.uk or 01753 888895.

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Related Team Specialists

Sharon Heselton
Principal Lawyer (Non Solicitor)
Lucy Wood
Practice Group Leader

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