An obituary can be much more than just a dry announcement of the time and location of your funeral or memorial service. It can be a way to share your life story, and communicate information about significant events and people, as well as important values you would like to impart to others. You don’t need to leave this task to grieving family members after you pass away; instead, writing your own obituary can be an important part of your estate plan that you can do today.
Estate Planning Isn’t Just about Money and Property
What Should You Include in Your Obituary?
- Important life events: If you’d like an opportunity to tell a brief story of your life, your obituary can provide an opportunity for you to highlight the most impactful experiences from your youth into adulthood.
- Lessons learned: Most people learn many lessons over the course of their lives, and it’s likely that friends and family members can benefit from your experiences. You can include these lessons in your obituary if you choose so they’ll also be available to a wider audience.
- Gratitude: You can use your obituary to express gratitude to the people who’ve played an important and beneficial role in your life. If you’re dealing with a long-term or chronic illness, you may wish to thank healthcare providers or caregivers who have gone above and beyond to help you during a difficult time.
- History: Times are changing rapidly. You can tell your friends and family about the different periods in history in which you lived and how they impacted you. If you lived through a war or were involved in or witnessed certain historical events, your loved ones will cherish your memories of those times because they are part of what molded you as a person. Writing down your memories will also leave an important historical record for the next generation.
- Goodbyes: Your obituary can be a wonderful way for you to say goodbye to friends and family members who may not live near you and are unlikely to be present when you pass away. As sad as it seems, it’s invaluable for those who are important to you to know that you have thought of them and have made an effort to express your affection.