How to Write an Obituary and Where to Publish

There are about 2.4 million funerals per year. That means that throughout the year, many families find themselves in a new position: they must plan the funeral of a loved one.

One of the earliest steps of funeral planning is writing an obituary. If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

We’re here to guide you through the process of how to write an obituary. We’ll talk about where to publish an obituary, what to include, and more.

Read on for our complete but simple guide on writing an obituary for a loved one.

What Goes In an Obituary?

Obituaries are relatively simple pieces of writing. You will want to cover these five components:

  • The announcement of the passing
  • A short biography of the deceased
  • Information on survivors of the deceased (such as partners, siblings, and children)
  • Information regarding any scheduled ceremonies (such as a funeral or memorial service)
  • Requests for contribution if relevant or appropriate

When you’re writing an obituary, we encourage you to include the maiden name or nickname of the deceased if it applies. What you include in the short biography is entirely up to you. People often reference any major achievements or passions that the deceased was known for, but you can also include smaller, more personal details if this feels right to you.

In addition, we encourage you to select a photo of the deceased that you love. It doesn’t have to be recent as long as it is recognizable.

Where to Publish an Obituary

It is common practice to publish obituaries in the newspaper that is local to the deceased’s most recent or longest hometown. You can also share obituaries online and, in fact, most newspapers do post content both online and in print. This allows you to share the link to the online obituary via email or on social media for others to see.

In addition, talk to the funeral home that is assisting you. Many offer obituary services and will share the obituary on their website. Some will even write an obituary for you.

Who Should Write the Obituary?

As we mentioned, some funeral homes do offer obituary writing services. This is a perfectly acceptable service to request.

If you would prefer that a family member provides a more personal touch, consider family members who were close to the deceased. Remember, some of these family members may not be in the proper emotional state to take on this job. Make sure that whoever is assigned the task does not feel overly burdened by it.

Let Us Guide You Through the Funeral Planning Process

If you’re learning how to write an obituary, you are not alone. Remember, you can always ask family members and your funeral home for assistance throughout the process.

Feel free to use our guide on what to do when a death occurs. Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are here to help you through this difficult time and to coordinate the details of your loved one’s funeral.