How to Set up a Memorial Fund to Benefit an Organization

by Contributor

If a close friend or family member has recently passed away, loved ones are often interested in donating money in that person's name. If you don't wish to receive this money yourself for the estate, you can set up a memorial fund to benefit an organization.

Discuss memorial fund options with your loved one if death is a certainty in the future.

Review the deceased's will to see if specific instructions were given regarding memorial funds.

Choose an organization that will benefit from the memorial fund.

Contact the organization's planned giving personnel to learn how memorial funds work with that particular organization.

Use some of the money from the estate to put a starting balance in the memorial fund.

Give notice to friends and family members about the memorial fund so that people can begin donating.


  • check Set up the memorial fund as quickly as possible in order to allow people to begin donating money right away.


  • close Do not set up a bank account in your own name to hold memorial money. This may look as though you are attempting to use the money for yourself.

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