Making the most of a loved one’s memorial fund

Making the most of a loved one’s memorial fund

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate |

When a loved one passes away, the family is often fortunate enough to be inundated with condolences and messages from the deceased person’s friends, colleagues, neighbors and others who knew them. They often want to pay their respects by giving something tangible in their honor. That’s where memorial funds come in.

You could just ask that people donate money to your loved one’s favorite charity. However, if you set up a memorial fund, people can donate and share their memories and thoughts about the person who passed away in one central location.

Memorial funds are simple to set up. There are websites that let you set up a memorial fund to accept online donations. You can also set up a Facebook page for this purpose. These are just two options. Just be aware that some sites charge a fee.

If you can do this prior to the funeral, you can include the information for it on the funeral cards. You can also include the information in the obituaries on, in local newspapers and anywhere your loved one’s death is reported (such as on their employer’s internal website or newsletter).

What to include on a memorial fund site

If you set up a memorial fund website, make the most of it. Talk about the charity (or charities) the money is going to, why this cause was important to your loved one and what kind of work they did for it. If you’ve got photos of them working for the group, include those.

It’s wise to set up a bank account specifically to hold the money you receive in donations. Don’t just put it in someone’s personal account to hold until you deliver it. This will help avoid any hint of impropriety.

Sometimes, people will use their estate plan to designate where they would like donations in their name to go. This is often included in the section that discusses wishes for their burial or cremation and funeral. All of this information should also be shared with the estate executor and perhaps other loved ones so they don’t find out only after the funeral is over and the estate administration is underway.

Whether you’re the one setting up a memorial fund for a loved one or you’re making your wishes known for one as you do your own estate planning, having legal guidance can help you ensure that it’s done properly.