Writing your own obituary | Will Lawyers in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Southside and surrounding areas.

Working with a will lawyer in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Southside & surrounding areas can bring up some uncomfortable feelings.  Those of us in this area of law are very aware of the fact that many people avoid important planning for this very reason.  After all, there aren’t a whole lot of people who want to contemplate their own demise, let alone the feelings of those left behind.

Writing your own obituary can actually be kind of a cathartic experience that helps with the estate planning process.  It gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own life, as well as to help shape how you will be remembered.  It also takes some of the burden off of those who are left behind that might not be up to writing such an intense piece in the middle of grieving.  You can write your obituary, place it in your Estate Planning Portfolio and have your will lawyer in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Southside & surrounding areas also keep it in your file so that it is ready to go when it is needed.

What to Include

You don’t necessarily have to write a full obituary if you don’t want, but it’s a good idea to at least make a list of some key points to make it easier on the person who does the actual writing later.  The guidelines for obituaries vary depending on where they will be published.  Many funeral homes will place them on their web sites free of charge, but newspapers will charge for including them.  A will lawyer in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Southside & surrounding areas will be able to tell you what local outlets expect when it comes to length and cost.

Some of the things that you may want to include are:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Education and employment background
  • Military service
  •  Achievements and awards
  • Family information regarding children, grandchildren, spouses, and parents
  •  Hobbies and interests
  •  A photo you would like used


In addition, you may want to include your wishes regarding memorials.  If you’d like flowers sent to the church or funeral home, for instance, you can include that.  It’s common for people to request that donations be made to a favorite charity “in lieu of flowers,” too.

Again, you may prefer not to write the entire obituary yourself, rather you may choose to just include this information in your documents so that your family and friends have it to refer to when they create the obituary after your death.  If you do choose to write your own, you may want to review it with your Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Southside & surrounding areas will lawyer every once in a while to ensure that it is kept up to date and reflects any recent changes.