Create a memorial fund
February 2, 2007 1:22 PM   Subscribe

How do you set up a memorial fund? A friend's father died suddenly and she'd like to set up a fund for his grandchildren's education and allow people to make contributions in lieu of flowers or whatever. Googling just gets me lots of links to other people's memorial funds, so I'm hoping some of you have been through this and can provide specific advice, steps to follow, liability issues, etc. Thanks!
posted by judith to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You probably should mention what country/state the fund will be set up in to help people answer. Some quick googling brought up an article written on this subject from a bank's perspective (Fundraising/Donation Accounts
by Sam Ott and Mary Beth Guard
), but contained this seemingly useful bit of information:

Some states have adopted a "statutory support trust" law that provides the language for a very simple, but effective, model trust to be used by a financial institution for the purpose of receiving money donated by any person as a public service to assist the beneficiary of the trust or account in the payment of medical, financial, educational, humanitarian or other similar needs. Here is an example of such a law: 6 OS 3010. If your state has such a law in place, this type of trust would probably be the ideal vehicle for managing solicited funds.

posted by ND¢ at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2007

Thanks. It's in California.
posted by judith at 1:43 PM on February 2, 2007

Probably the best thing for her to do would be to go talk to her bank. They will have encountered this request before, and will be able to give her the correct information about her local laws.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2007

California 529 College Savings Plan

Useful only if the only thing they want the money used for is post-secondary education, but something to explore. You would need one set up for each child involved. Anyone can set one up, and anyone else can contribute, once the account number is established. Rules state by state can vary, read the link for more info.
posted by anastasiav at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2007

See if you have a Community Foundation in your area.

My brother passed away in a car accident over 10 years ago. At the time, the Community Foundation worked with a local hockey team and my old high school to set up a fund in order to assist local student athletes in pursuit of higher education. The first year, it was a $500 scholarship to one person. These days it is around $2000 - $5000 for 2 or 3 kids each year.

The Community Foundation works to make funds like this. They may be able to help you too.

Good luck, it's a great feeling to know that something is being done in memory of your loved one to help others.

(Yeah, for those interested, it's the Galen Head Memorial Scholarship Fund and there is a bit of info along with a ton of other funds here.)
posted by punkrockrat at 8:17 PM on February 2, 2007

My parents set up a memorial fund when my sister died a few years ago, and all they did was go talk to the bank. Then all people had to do was go into the bank, give the name of the fund, and hand over some money. My parents use it as scholarship money for high school seniors in their church. I'm sorry I don't have any information for you than that.
posted by rhapsodie at 8:19 PM on February 2, 2007

a friend's father died suddenly and she'd like to set up a fund for his grandchildren's education and allow people to make contributions in lieu of flowers

Does your friend want her father's mourners to pay for her kids' college? Aren't memorial funds generally set up to give back to the community?

posted by mimi at 8:11 AM on February 3, 2007

Some memorial funds are community-focused, while some are set up to provide for families where the primary wage-earner dies unexpectedly without life insurance or other provisions for caring for his/her dependents. In this case, not that I need to explain it, really, there are dependents that relied on this man for their primary support and people in the community have asked how they can help the family.
posted by judith at 11:23 PM on February 5, 2007

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