Death Notice vs Death Certificate: What’s the Difference?

When a person passes away, a death notice and death certificate must be completed.
Death Notice vs Death Certificate: What’s the Difference?

When someone dies, there are big decisions that happen quickly. Whether it’s the executor of the will handling the funeral arrangements and the estate or applying for a reseal of probate, things can get tricky.

After a person dies, the executor, next of kin or funeral director will complete a death notice and death certificate. Here are the main differences you should know between the two.

What is a death notice?

A death notice is a listing placed in the Classifieds or Obituaries of a newspaper. The family writes the death notice of the deceased person, and the funeral director organises it. Unlike obituaries, a death notice contains very little information.

In addition to the person’s name, time of death, and birth date, the family might also decide to include the funeral’s date and location.

When creating a death notice, it’s essential to decide who’s responsible, the budget, and ensure that all the information is correct.

What is a death certificate?

A death certificate is the official record of a person’s death and can act as proof of death. It’s the information that the state holds on its register about the person who has died.

Typically, a funeral director will apply for the death certificate on the executors’ behalf when they register the death. The funeral director will ask for some personal information about the deceased, which can include:

  • Birth, death and burial;
  • Family members and;
  • Home address and occupation

The funeral director will register the death within seven days of burial. The death certificate is important for transferring or cancelling services, administering a Will or applying for Letters of Administration.

Who can apply for a death certificate?

Few people can apply for a death certificate. These include:

  • The Next of Kin (spouse, parent, or child) of the person who has died
  • The funeral director
  • The appointed executor of the person’s will

Funeral directors will usually apply, so it’s always best to check with the funeral director before anyone else submits an application.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice

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