What is an Obituary?

This is not something most people typically think about until it’s too late. An obituary is a brief summary of the life of someone who has died. Obituaries are typically published in newspapers either in print or electronic form. 

            In most cases, the obituary is an afterthought written by family after you have passed. This can create a burden for friends and loved ones who may not know the specific answers to questions concerning your parents, details about your early childhood and ultimate careers, and many other details that you would deem important to your life’s story. 


So, how do I write my own obituary?

You may be thinking “how do I include everything I would want without writing an autobiography?” A good strategy to writing your own obituary is to schedule time a couple of times a week to start writing. It should be in your own words and include all of the important ups and downs that made you who you are today, limited and whittled down to 1-2 pages.

Questions that you could ask yourself include:

  • How you got your name?
  • What was one of your first jobs?
  • What was your most poignant triumph?
  • What are some of the biggest turning points in your life?


It may be uncertain as to who will be reading your obituary in the future. No matter who reads it, something you can take away from writing your own obituary may be the enjoyment of reviewing the many chapters and turning points in your life. Or you may be documenting important details and stories for your future grandchildren to learn more about you. If done is advance, this could be a very rewarding experience.

Additionally, protect your loved ones from poor outcomes with a will or trust-based estate plan.  Attend our educational workshop, held each month at our office.  Attendance qualifies you for a free consultation to design your plan with an attorney at our firm.

Don’t delay, call us at (804) 325-1245 (Richmond) or (757) 941-4298 (Williamsburg) to schedule your first meeting or attend our estate planning seminar today.

H. Van Smith
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Trusted Virginia Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg