Frequently Asked Questions


Please be aware that all notices submitted by individuals or non-local funeral homes are subject to a verification and proofing process. Families placing notices are required to provide the name of the funeral home or cremation firm caring for the deceased. Any notice with unverifiable, negative or inappropriate wording or with abbreviations outside the state (CA) or common entities (UCLA, CSU, etc.) will be rejected. It is crucial that current contact information be provided so that questions can be answered.

Can I work on my Obituary Notice and save it without submitting it? 

Yes, obituaries can be saved and worked on at a later time. Once you have entered the text, there is a button on several of the pages that allows you to "Save for Later".

What happens if I get called away while creating an order and return later? 

It is very important to "Save for Later" if you are called away while working on an order. If you have already scheduled the order and accidentally submit it after cut off time, it will retain the run date and bill the order however, it won't appear in the paper.

What if I need to make a change or correction to a notice that's already been submitted? 

As long as the change is submitted prior to the cut-off time it will reflect in the published notice. Log in to your account, locate your notice in the "Your Current Notices" or "Future Notices" area and "Modify" the order. If you are paying by credit card and you change the cost of the order, you will be credited/charged the difference in cost.

What's the best way to set up date of birth and death?

The notice looks much better if the date is set up using Jan., Feb., Mar. instead of slash mark dates. You will need to abbreviate the name of the month - It looks best if the dates fall on a single line: Jan. 30, 1919-Apr. 1, 2011

How do I avoid extra blank lines at the bottom of the notice? 

Any order pasted from another source should be checked for extra space. Frequently there is a return that was done when the original text was typed on a Word Document. It can easily be removed by placing your cursor after the last period in the text and pressing delete a few times. Another method is to locate the cursor at the end of the white space and press Backspace until you reach the last period at the end of the last sentence.

Photos: Is JPG the only format that can be used for a photo? 

You can use jpg, gif, eps, tif, png and pdf.

Photos: Will the photo run in color in the newspaper? 

Yes, all obits in The Mercury News and the East Bay Times run in color.

Photos: How are photos charged?

Photos are charged by the line, the same as the text. The average photo is about 17 lines for a single column notice (template #1).  Double column notices will charge approximately 34 lines based on the width of the notice.  

Is the preview an accurate representation of how the notice will look in the paper? 

Yes, it is exactly the same with the exception of color photos which will be converted to black and white.

What if I miss the cut-off time for publication? 

You will need to choose the next available date. If the date is gray on your screen, the cut-off time has passed.

Will the notice go on-line? 

Yes. Bay Area News Group uses, a national website for on-line Obituaries used by over 800 newspapers. Obits can be accessed through our websites (listed below).  With every published notice you receive a permanent guest book that can be accessed through our websites, a nicely represented copy of the notice, easily located service information, ability to post photos, audio and video, a link to your funeral home's website, directions to the funeral home and a button that will read the Obit to you.  All guestbook entries are screened to ensure that the content is appropriate and respectful.  

What are the websites?

San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo County Times and the South Bay weeklies*:

South Bay Weeklies: Almaden Resident, Cambrian Resident, Cupertino Courier, Los Gatos Weekly Times, Rose Garden Resident, Saratoga News, Sunnyvale Sun, Willow Glen Resident

East Bay Times covers (Contra Costa and Alameda County areas):

Hills Newspapers (weeklies): Alameda Journal, Montclarion, Piedmonter, Berkeley Voice, El Cerrito Journal: 

What is Lasting Memories?  Lasting Memories is a website dedicated to your loved one and owned and administrated by you or someone in your family.

What will I see when I go into the Lasting Memories page?      The website will be set up to include some art and a copy of the obituary. From there you can customize as desired. There will be no advertising on the page. It will be exclusively dedicated to your loved one.

Do I have to fill out all of the "Search Field" information? 

No, the first and last name are required and are used for alphabetizing the notices in the Newspaper and locating them on-line. The only other field that is required is the email address. This allows us to contact you in the event of a question. It will also be used to provide you with information on adding extra information (additional photos, audio and video) to the guestbook site. The email address information will be provided to, the Bay Area News Group on-line provider and no one else.

How do I pay for an obituary notice? 

Notices placed by individuals must be prepaid using a credit card. Bay Area News Group uses the services of PayPal. Funeral Homes can be billed if they have an active account with Bay Area News Group but can also pay by credit card. The card can be either your company's or the family's. If you charge it to the family's card, you will need to change the billing information to match the credit card information.

How will I know if the newspaper receives my notice? 

You will receive a confirmation email once the order is filed. Orders are processed into the Bay Area News Group system as they are created.

Can a day be added to the order on the last day that it runs? 

Once the order reaches its last day of publication, it cannot be extended. You would have to create a new order.

What's the difference between the OnLine Obit (by and Lasting Memories?  Although they offer some of the same or similar features there are some very specific differences:

- OnLine Obits are accessed through the newspaper's website.

- In addition to locating local Obituaries you can also access those placed by about 800 newspapers nationwide.

- Searches can be conducted by name, location, newspaper and publication date.

- The guestbook is public however every entry is reviewed to ensure that the family does not receive inappropriate or hurtful content.

- There is archiving for genealogical research. This is limited to the Obituary text only.

- The Obituary and Guestbook are permanently accessible to the family.

- It is offered at no charge as  part of the Obituary package because it is considered an extension of the Obituary printed in the newspaper which serves to notify the public of your loved one's death.


- Lasting Memories is a website owned and administrated by the family. See the FAQ's below.


Lasting Memories FAQs:


It says Lasting Memories is a "Free" webpage. Are there any costs associated with it?  No. Bay Area News Group has opted to offer this at no charge as part of our Obituary Program offering.  It is our way of expressing condolences to your family.

 Lasting has a lot of listings. If these are administrated by the family why can I see them?  When created the basic page is public until the family specifies otherwise.  There are also Memorials that the family has designated as "Public" so they will always be viewable.  Once it is designated as "Private" it will not be seen and cannot be Googled.

My website has a number in it. What does that mean?  A number is usually assigned when there is more than one Memorial under the same name.  Lasting Memories is national and creates websites for families all over the U.S.

 What happens if I designate my memorial as "Private"?   It will not show up on the Lasting Memories Memorial list and cannot be located through a Google Search.

 Can I change the page design? Yes, there are several options. Once you sign on to your webpage you will see instructions.

 Where can I get more information on my Lasting Memories page?  Once you sign on you will see a FAQ option.

 What is an "OnLine Only Obituary?"   Bay Area News Group acknowledges that there are families that prefer digital but still want to formally notify the community of their loved one's death. The OnLine Only Obituary offers you all of the amenities of a standard Obituary with the exception of printing in the newspaper.  It allows you to craft a well written and presented notice that can be posted to social media including Facebook and Twitter.  

If you have additional questions you can contact your local obituary coordinator:

San Jose Mercury News: or 408-920-5276

Contra Costa County Newspapers: or 925-943-8020

Alameda County Newspapers: or 510-293-2627

Marin Independent Journal: or 415-382-7252

Santa Cruz Sentinel: or 831-706-3212


Is it okay to change my password? 

Please leave the password as assigned. This allows the newspaper to log onto your account and assist you with troubleshooting.

Can a family pay with a check directly to the newspaper? 

No, the payment would have to be made to the funeral home.

Why can't I create my own logo? 

We ask that you do not create a logo for a couple of reasons: We are providing these at no charge but have a limit to the size that is offered. In order to have the logos appear on-line it is necessary for them to be created twice - once for Electronic Obits and once for Legacy. If you create your own, it will not appear correctly on-line.