What is a Death Notice?
The first important thing to note is that a Death Notice and Death Certificate is not the same document. These are two total different documents used by total different institutions.
A Death Notice is a document that is completed by the reporter of an estate file at the Master of the High Court. The Death Notice is used by the Master of the High Court as part of the estate file.
The Death Notice is often extremely useful for Genealogical research purposes, as this document often may contain information on parents, employment, spouse and children. Due do this, we always recommend that you always try to determine if an estate file was registered and attempt finding the death notice.
Just a word of caution on death notices. These documents are always completed by family members who may not always have accurate information. Sometimes, death notices may be completed by third-parties. Information on death notices are not always verified. Due to this, information may often be incomplete or totally incorrect.
Whenever dealing with Death Notices from estate files, always ensure that you verify all information against official supporting documentation. Do not take this information at face value!
A Death Certificate, on the other hand, is a document issued by the Department of Home Affairs, confirming the living status of an individual. This document will also often be required in an estate file.
If a person passed away and no estate file was registered, such person will not have a Death Notice. You can, however, apply for a death certificate at Home Affairs.