How Much Does an Obituary Cost?

The cost of an obituary can vary widely and is influenced by several factors. An obituary is not just a simple announcement of someone’s passing, it’s a commemoration of their life.

Choosing the right way to share that life can be both a personal and financial decision and can be a difficult thing for family members. That’s actually the genesis of this site—we experienced the death of a family member and discovered the exorbitant costs involved in placing an obituary.

Sunset with purples and blues in the sky.

While the obituary section of major newspapers used to be the best way to get the word out about someone’s death, these days, there are more options, such as an online memorial or a simple online death notice.

These can be used in lieu of or along with the more traditional newspaper obituaries. Here’s what you need to know about obituary prices:

Publication medium

The medium through which the obituary is published is one of the most significant factors affecting the cost of an obituary:

Newspapers: While this is considered the standard for a traditional obituary, the price of an obituary in a newspaper can range from $200 to $1200 or more, depending on the paper’s reach and location. Due to space constraints, larger newspapers are charging more even for a short obituary.

Online obituaries: There are websites where obituary prices are more affordable or even free. A digital obituary is easy to share with friends and family and often includes a memory board where people can share their stories.

Social Media: This option is generally free but might lack the formality of other methods.

Length and content of an obituary

Word Count: Many newspapers charge based on the number of words, affecting the overall obituary cost. Some will charge significantly less if you just want to place notice of the funeral service or announcement of the date of death. The amount of content may directly affect the cost of an obituary.

Photographs: Including photos usually adds to the price of a newspaper obituary.

Customization: Special requests can further increase the cost.

Location of deceased

Location plays a significant role in determining the price of an obituary in a newspaper:

Local Newspaper: Typically more affordable, ranging from $100 to $500. Local papers are usually a good option.

National Papers: Wider coverage means a higher price, often between $200 to $1200 or more. Additional costs can vary with photos.

Package deals

Some funeral homes might offer a package that includes the cost of an obituary. While this might be economical, it may also limit your choices. Talk to your funeral director about these options.

Alternative options for obituaries

Community Bulletin Boards: A low-cost or free option.

Church Bulletins: Often free, especially if the deceased was a member of that religious community.


Understanding obituary prices and the factors that influence them helps in making an informed decision that honors your loved one’s memory. Whether opting for the traditional route of placing an obituary in a newspaper or exploring online and community options, the decision should align with your budget and the unique life you’re celebrating.

Remember, an obituary is a lasting tribute that reaches beyond mere words; it is a reflection of a life lived and the legacy left behind.

See an example of an obituary here, and if you need assistance, please reach out and allow us the honor of helping to write your loved one’s life story.

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