What Should Be Included in an Obituary?


Serving both as a tribute to the deceased and a notification to the community of the deceased’s death, an obituary is an important part of the funeral planning process. Not all obituaries are written in the same format, and people have a bit of leeway when deciding what to include in a loved one’s obituary. The following details, however, should be included in every obituary:

Death Announcement An obituary typically begins with information about the deceased at the time of his or her death. The date of death, age and place of residence at the time of death, and sometimes the cause of death are included in the death announcement.

Biographical Information Most obituaries also include a brief biography of the deceased. This biography should include the date and place of birth, as well as the cities in which the deceased spent most of his or her life. Educational and career highlights are optional, as is any other personal information that a family wishes to include.

Names of Surviving Relatives The names and relations of immediate surviving relatives are also typically included in an obituary. When someone is survived by several people of one relation—seventeen grandsons, for example—it is acceptable to write that the deceased is survived by that number of relatives, rather than naming each of them.

Information about Services If you are holding any public funeral or memorial services for your loved one, it is essential that you include the dates, times, and locations of these services. Your loved one’s obituary is likely to be the most widely circulated funeral announcement, and people you may not think to send individual announcements to can find out how they can pay their respects by reading your obituary.

If you are a resident of the San Mateo area who is looking for a funeral service provider who can offer obituary writing assistance and publish an obituary on its website, Skylawn Memorial Park has the staff and the resources to help you. To speak with a caring and dedicated member of our multilingual funeral planning staff, call (650) 349-4411.

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