How To Write a Letter To Inform of the Death of an Employee

Dear [recipient’s name]: It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, (name), who passed away on (date). (Name) passed away unexpectedly/had suffered with a prolonged illness in recent years/or was involved in an accident.

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How to write a letter to inform your team of the death of an employee

It’s time to inform your team of the death of the deceased staff member once you have permission from their next of kin. Here are some fundamental principles to follow when writing a letter informing someone that one of your team members passed away:

1. Use a direct, serious subject line

Sending an email to inform your team of a member’s passing should begin with a serious, urgent subject line. Use a somber tone to let the recipient(s) know that this is not a typical work email. You can mention the loss of a team member or specifically identify the employee when mentioning that someone at the company passed away. Here are some examples of subject lines:

2. Announce the employees death

Inform the team of the employee’s name and the date of their passing in the letter’s opening sentences. While sharing the information, be direct while also using considerate language. You can express the facts without losing sight of how sad a situation is. Mention the sadness associated with the news when making the announcement to help the audience understand the circumstances.

Here are some examples:

3. Only include appropriate details

Include only pertinent and appropriate information in the letter. Before sending the letter, speak with the deceased’s family or next of kin to find out what details they want you to include. Some people might be okay with you disclosing the cause of death of a loved one, while others might prefer to keep that information private. When writing the letter, keep in mind that respect is your primary concern, so working with the family to decide what specifics to include is crucial.

If you mention a cause of death in the letter, just briefly mention it. Too much information can detract from the letter’s other purposes, such as highlighting the workers’ achievements or providing resources for help. Use your best judgment on how to discuss difficult topics.

4. Reflect on the team members positive attributes

Share the team member’s biographical details and encouraging information about their life and career. You can talk about their position within the organization, some of their greatest successes, or facets of their character that stood out to other team members. You can also mention their surviving family members and personal interests if you have knowledge of their private life. Describe how this person’s presence on the team will be missed by you and the other staff members.

5. Share details about the funeral or reception

Include information in the letter if the family requested that you invite their coworkers to a memorial service, viewing, reception, or other event. Include the date, time, and any other pertinent event details in your list. Some places of business may grant time off during business hours to attend memorial services, or they might even have a carpool program so that people can share transportation. Put together these specifics in a paragraph that follows the initial announcement.

6. Explain workplace accommodations

Recognize that the news of the deceased’s passing may have a profound effect on many team members who may have a personal connection with them. Include a summary in the letter if your company is providing any accommodations to assist the team during this trying time. You could mention that anyone is welcome to get in touch with HR if they need assistance or want to share specific resources, like a staff counsellor’s number or an employee assistance program. Validate the feelings of your team members and let them know that the business is here to support them during the grieving process.

7. Coordinate any efforts for their family

You might want to plan a gift or card for the deceased’s family to express your sorrow at their loss. If you’re sending something, mention that a card is available for signatures. Give directions to the card’s location and an expiration date for anyone who wants to participate to sign or leave a note.

8. Finish with a kind message

End the note with a sympathetic message. Be respectful when concluding the letter and recognize that some recipients may be close friends of the deceased while others may only be acquaintances. During this difficult time, urge everyone to look out for one another and take care of their own needs. At the end of the letter, sign your name.

Why is it important to send a letter to inform of the death of an employee?

Respectfully notifying everyone when an employee passes away is crucial for a number of reasons, including:

Template letter sharing the death of an employee

Use this template as an outline for your announcement letter:

Dear [company name] staff,

We regret to inform you that [employee name] passed away on [date]. They were an important team player for our department, and we will miss their [qualities]. In this trying time, we ask that you send your thoughts and condolences to their family, who are still alive.

You can sign a card in the break room by [date] if you can. Everyone is welcome to attend their family’s public memorial, which will be held on [date] the following week.

The loss of [Name], a beloved member of the [company] family, is felt deeply. For anyone looking for support, a counselor from human resources is on call. If you need someone to talk to during this time, kindly get in touch.

We extend our deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.


[Your name]

Example letters announcing the death of an employee

Here are a few illustrations of letters informing team members of a death:

Example 1

Dear Blueheart Solutions staff,

I’m very sorry to inform you that Yvonne Chaney, a team member for ten years, passed away on Saturday night after suffering a heart attack. Throughout her entire employment with Blueheart Solutions, she demonstrated drive, motivation, and empathy for others. We already miss her kind spirit and creative mindset. The members of Yvonnes’s remaining family are her husband, two sons, and a granddaughter. We wish them well during this difficult time, and we ask everyone to sign the card in the break room by this Friday.

As soon as details about memorial arrangements are available, we’ll let you know. Anyone in need of support or struggling to cope with Yvonnes death is encouraged to get in touch with me or anyone at HR for assistance. In addition, the business offers an employee assistance program as one of your benefits, which includes three no-cost counseling sessions.

My sincere condolences go out to everyone who knew Yvonne and cherished her positive energy in the workplace.


Corey Harrington
HR manager

Example 2

Dear Openstrip Technologies team,

I’m writing to express my sadness over the untimely death of our customer service manager, Pierce Davies, yesterday afternoon. Their family has asked for privacy at this time. One of our team members who welcomed everyone with a smile and a kind word whenever you passed by their desk in the front office was Pierce. We acknowledge that this is shocking news, and we extend our sincere condolences to everyone who knew Pierce.

You can leave tributes for Pierce’s life on his memorial website, which I’ve provided a link to below. Additionally, the website allows you to post notes of encouragement for the family.

We’re offering extra PTO for anyone who wants to take the rest of the day off to process Pierce’s passing as a result of this unexpected news. If you want to talk to someone or require additional support, please let us know as we have counseling services available through human resources. We hope that during this difficult time, we can rely on one another.


Laura Patel


How do I write a death notification email?

Jump ahead to these sections:
  1. Step 1: Decide What Medium You’d Like To Use.
  2. Step 2: Begin With a Formal Salutation.
  3. Step 3: Begin With an Expression of Sympathy.
  4. Step 4: Share Some Information About Your Loved One’s Death with Others
  5. Step 5: Discuss Ideas for Memorial Services or Ceremonies

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