Should an ex-daughter in law be included in the obituary of her ex-husband’s mother?

9 years, 6 months ago

We’re getting down to the wire on writing an obit for my mother in law. Currently my ex-sister in law is listed as a survivor even though she has been divorced for over a year and the divorce was pretty ugly. I know I know – I need to get over this and just let it go right?!

Jennifer Lane
9 years, 6 months ago

Hi Patty,

First, I’m very sorry for the loss of your mother in law. Obituaries can be complicated to write and in the case of divorce, you also have to decide on whether or not to include former family members based on the nature of the relationship. Generally, an ex in-law would not be considered a survivor for obituary purposes unless the relationship remained good or the rest of the family felt it was appropriate to include the individual.

If there are children of the ex sister-in-law that need to be included, you could list survivors this way:

“Surviving are……her son, Joe Smith and his children with Mary, Sarah Smith and Mark Smith.”

In this example, Joe is the son of the deceased and Mary is the ex-wife of Joe. Or, you can exclude Mary and say “Surviving are…..her son, Joe Smith; grandchildren, Sarah Smith and Mark Smith.”

Ultimately, you need to go with what the next of kin wants. If your mother-in-law’s children want to include the ex sister-in-law, then include her. If not, then don’t.

I hope this is helpful to you – just reply if you have any further questions.

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