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Guide to Writing an Obituary

Guide to Writing an Obituary

by Jessica Campbell

An obituary is a published notice of death, typically seen in a newspaper, that includes a short biography of the life of someone who recently died.

Obituaries are an important way that we remember the people who matter to us. More than a simple death announcement, the obituary is where we record a loved one’s life story to live on forever. So it’s no wonder that the task of writing an obituary can be daunting.

Whether you need to write an obituary for a family member who has just died, or are planning ahead by writing an obituary for yourself, Legacy can guide you step-by-step through the process. Click below to find the information you need about how to write an obituary.

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Obituary How-To

How to Write an Obituary

Need help writing an obituary? Review Legacy’s step-by-step guide.

How to Write a Parent’s Obituary

Writing a meaningful obituary for your parent is one of the most important things you can do to preserve their legacy.

How to Write Your Own Obituary

It’s your story — maybe it should be told in your words.

Who Should Be Included in the Obituary?

Writing an obit can be fraught with potential missteps, unintentional omissions, and political ramifications.

How to Write an Unforgettable Obituary

A well-told life story is an act of love. Here’s how to make it memorable.

How to Submit an Obituary Online

Whether you wish to submit a short death notice or publish a longer obituary, here are the steps you will need to take.


Memorable Obituaries

The Best Obituaries of 2019

These recent unforgettable tributes went above and beyond in honoring meaningful memories.

These People Wrote Their Own Obituaries

If there’s one surefire way to get the last word, it’s writing your own obituary.

Lives Told Well

These obituaries find the extraordinary in the lives of ordinary people.

Funny Obituaries

In a section of the news that usually inspires tears, a few unique souls would rather make us laugh.


Honest Obituaries

Getting the Last Word on Politics (in Your Obituary)

Voters cherish the right to voice approval (or displeasure) at elected officials’ behavior.

Speaking of Suicide

A rising number of mourners are publicly sharing the truth about their loved ones’ suicides.

‘She Wanted to Live’: When Obituaries Are Honest About Addiction

Families are speaking out about their loved ones’ addiction deaths.

More Obituaries Are Openly Addressing Domestic Violence

Families hope their loved ones’ stories will help others escape.

What Obituaries Are Trying to Tell Us About Veterans and PTSD

What does it mean to die from PTSD? These veterans’ families want us to know.

Amazing Adoption Stories Shared in Obituaries

There are many ways to make a family — and many ways to tell the story of a life.


Life Stories Live On

Why Publish an Obituary in the Local News?

Here are five good reasons.

Why Newspaper Obituaries Are So Valuable for Genealogy Research

When it comes to researching family history, the obit is a treasure trove of information.

How to Find an Obituary for a Specific Person

Locating an obituary online can be as easy as entering the person’s name.


Ready to publish an obituary? Click below to browse U.S. newspapers by state. Choose one of 900+ leading newspapers in the United States and learn how to place an obituary for publication.

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