Ask The Funeral Expert:
Can I obtain a copy of my sisters obituary?
I am her brother, closest living relative. Fred
The Funeral Expert Reply:
Most obituaries are public notices of a person’s death. So almost anyone can get a copy of someone’s obit if they subscribe or buy the newspaper in which the obituary is published. The obituary can be published both online and in print.
Often it is the funeral home who submits the obituary to the local newspaper. Funeral homes often will also publish an obituary on their website. However this isn’t the only way an obituary can be submitted to a newspaper. Many newspapers charge a fee to publish the obituary. So family members can submit obituaries as well.
To get a copy of your sister’s obituary you can do one of three things:
- Contact the funeral home that provided the funeral services. They should be able to give you a copy of the obituary submitted to the local newspaper or published on their website.
- Contact the local newspaper where your sister’s funeral was held. They should be able to give you a copy of the published obit.
- Search for your sister’s name + obit on the internet. If the service was held in the last decade, you should be able to find the obit online.
Keep in mind that obit do not serve the same legal function as a death notice or death certificate. If you need proof of your sister’s passing, you can contact the state in which your sister died and petition for a copy of her death certificate. You will need certain information to get a death certificate such as full name, year of birth, year of death, social security number and other personal identification information. The requirements are usually listed on the state’s death certificate request form.
Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.