Your Guide to Funeral Planning | 09.07.2022

How Much Does a Newspaper or Online Obituary Cost?

How Much Does a Newspaper or Online Obituary Cost?

Reviewed By: Elizabeth Siegel

Cross Checked By: William Prout

What is an Obituary?

An obituary is an announcement of a person's death, often containing details about the deceased's funeral service. Obituaries are not legally required, but they can carry a lot of sentimental value, and for some people, they serve as the final tribute to a loved one's life. Most people either opt for a newspaper obituary or an online obituary. The cost of an obituary depends on where you choose to publish it. 

Newspaper obituaries are the traditional route since that used to be the only option to announce someone's death. With the advent of the Internet, people are switching to online obituaries over newspaper obituaries because they allow for much more personalization. There are fewer regulations about how long your obituary can be and how many photos you can include. The obituary cost is generally much lower when published online.

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How Much Does An Obituary Cost?

  • Newspaper Obituary Cost

A newspaper obituary is a traditional choice for announcing a death. Multiple factors will determine the final cost of your newspaper obituary.

  • Location: The cost of obituaries in smaller towns is less expensive than in bigger metro cities. For example, a 150-word obituary in Everett, Washington, costs $85, while the same obituary would cost around $780 in New York City. 
  • Length: The longer the obituary, the higher the cost of publishing it in a newspaper.
  • Run time: The final cost of the obituary will also depend on how many days you want it to run in the newspaper.
  • Inclusion of photo: Adding pictures in a newspaper obituary usually comes with a separate cost of between $25 and $250, depending on where you run it and in which newspaper.

While newspaper obituaries have been the default choice for a long time, there are certain disadvantages to using newspaper obituaries. Some restrictions of newspaper obituaries are the higher costs, smaller audiences, and more limitations on what the obituary can look like. Online obituaries are less limiting than newspaper obituaries since they usually do not have word limits or photograph limits.

  • Online Obituary Cost

With the advancement of technology and the Internet, online obituaries have become more commonplace. Some people opt for longer obituaries which can be 600 words or more. In such cases, the online obituary cost is a significant advantage, which will remain fixed regardless of the number of words. Another benefit is that the audience of the obituary is not locally restricted as it would be in the case of a newspaper obituary.

Paid Online Obituary Cost:

  • $50-$100: This range offers more features like photos, longer text, and sometimes a guestbook. (Funeral homes & memorial websites)
  • Over $100: Premium packages might include video tributes, social media sharing tools, and extended publishing duration.

 Many funeral homes also have their website where you can post an online obituary, sometimes for no extra fee. No fees can be a valuable option for people who might already be struggling with funeral costs which can often culminate into a significant amount. Fewer people read newspapers now than ever before, so even if you publish a newspaper obituary, it might be worthwhile to spend a little extra and post an online one.

How to Write An Obituary?

Writing an obituary for a loved one always remains a challenging task. There are options when deciding what you want to include in your obituary - online or in a newspaper. Some people mention positive attributes about the person or meaningful accomplishments in their life. You might also want to include identifying details such as previous workplaces or where they lived. Whether or not you choose to mention information on the funeral service is up to you and whether you want it to be open to the public.

If you are struggling to write an obituary, you can ask your funeral director for suggestions or look up an obituary sample on the Internet. Considering our current times, online obituaries can be a more feasible option for people who want to access a wider audience for a longer time. Some of the most popular online obituary websites are Legacy, Forever Missed, EverLoved, and Keeper.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Do you pay per word for an obituary?

Answer: No, obituaries typically have a flat fee, not a per-word charge. However, some services might limit the free version's word count.