Tips for Writing an Obituary

Writing an obituary can be challenging; how do you sum up a person’s existence in a finite space? The challenge is to know which memories and anecdotes to include and which to avoid.

An obituary is a short piece of text announcing a person’s death – it may be published in a newspaper or online for the benefit of friends, family, and the wider community. It offers an account of a person’s life and provides details about their upcoming funeral.

writing an obituary

When writing an obituary, there is some key information to include; name, age, place, and date of birth, and place and date of death. There is also usually space to include details about their life, their education, hobbies, and any significant contributions to the community.

Each person is unique and their obituary is a chance to reflect that. But, if writing an obituary for a newspaper, bear in mind the word limit. When writing for online purposes, you might not be quite as restricted in how long your obituary can be.

It is customary to include family who have survived the deceased, as well as close family who predeceased them. If space allows, you may also be able to include a photo. And don’t forget to include details about the funeral or memorial, and the wake.

The responsibility to write usually falls on the family and can be incredibly difficult at such an upsetting time. If you are not sure what to write, the funeral director can usually suggest what to include.

However, you can make the process easier by collating biographical details, photos, and any other relevant information about your life ahead of time, and leaving it with your funeral plan – you could even write it yourself!

Capital Life has a range of funeral plans to suit all budgets and our helpful advisors are here to support you at your time of need. If you would like to discuss your wishes and start funeral planning, call us on 0800 411 8688 or contact us.