Here’s the latest trend in funeral planning: Do-it-yourself obituaries - where seniors write their own obituaries, so they can tell their life story the way they want it told. Seniors like the idea because it takes the pressure off their family. And spares their loved ones from having to scramble to find relevant dates – like when they graduated from college – and write about their life while they’re grieving.

Others want to write their own epitaphs because they have no family left to write one for them. They also want to make sure they’re remembered for certain accomplishments and activities, things the younger generation may not know – or might forget. They also like being able to make it as serious or lighthearted as they want, and allow their personality to shine through. Some seniors even narrate a video slide show of their life in pictures to play at the services.

And do-it-yourself obituaries are being embraced by the burial industry. Funeral directors say that an increasing number of people arrive for pre-planning sessions with an obituary containing every detail except their date of death. Funeral homes are even offering obituary-writing services.

Susan Soper wrote the self-help book ObitKit. And she says the best time to write a do-it-yourself obituary is when you’re healthy and productive, and feeling good about yourself. And she says it’s not depressing – in fact, a lot of people discover they enjoy reminiscing about their life.

Would you write your own obituary?