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Obituary Questionnaire – Additional Comments

May 19, 2016

My wife Ronnie and some callers questioned the propriety of including all the information in the questionnaire in an obituary notice in the sense that it will make it easier for identity theft and would call attention to an empty or partially empty house.

Ronnie and the callers raised a serious issue. There are lowlife people that search out obits looking for information they could use to establish an alternative identity based on the deceased or even surviving members of the family.  The information also identifies residences that will have fewer people living there and perhaps the time it will be unoccupied (during the funeral).  Dates of death, parents names, sibling identities and school and address history are fodder for these reprobates.  While the questionnaire has a thorough listing of information that should be available, using all of it should require some discretion.

A comment that is unrelated to the collection of factual information is that compiling the questionnaire could create a moment of reflection on accomplishments and achievements and how you might be remembered.  You should be proud of the type of person you are and how you have positively touched others.  If you are satisfied with how you lived, and continue to live your life, good for you.  If not pleased, hopefully you will have plenty of time to do the good things you would want written about in your obituary.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Phyllis Geller permalink
    May 19, 2016 10:49 am

    Also, think about having someone stay in your home in case burglars read the funeral announcement and plan to break-in when your house is empty. This person could be someone involved in setting up the meal for the mourners as part of shiva after you return.

  2. Ed Mendlowitz permalink
    May 19, 2016 11:14 am

    Another concern could be for people that post to Social Media while they are away on a vacation. This is a “billboard” proclaiming that your house might be empty. It’s terrible that we have to be so paranoia about sharing fun events.

  3. Phyllis Geller permalink
    May 19, 2016 1:19 pm

    Another point is to make sure to have someone in your house for any event that may be publicized in newspapers and elsewhere alerting burglars that your house will be empty. This includes sad events like funerals as well as happy ones like B’nai Mitzvahs and weddings. With just a little research, a prospective robber can locate your home address. Perhaps the person who is helping to set up the meal for mourners as part of the Shiva can be relied upon to stay in the house until you return.

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