FindAGrave just announced two big updates that will have an impact on memorials for the recently deceased and who qualifies for a required transfer. These are changes that members of the genealogy community have requested for years.
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FindAGrave Updates Memorials for the Recently Deceased
The first FindAGrave update pertains to a sensitive subject – the creation of memorials for the recently deceased. This change comes as more people discover that someone on FindAGrave created a memorial for their loved one before the funeral even took place. In the case of my father-in-law, someone created the memorial before we even got home from meeting with the funeral home director.
Now when you create a FindAGrave memorial, you’ll be asked if you are a close relative. If you say yes, it will then ask how you are related.
They’re asking this because for the first three months after a person’s death, their FindAGrave memorial will show limited information if that memorial wasn’t created by a close family member or isn’t managed by a close family member.
During that time, the memorial will display a link that makes it more obvious that close family members can have the memorial transferred to them. This is something that so many family members didn’t realize before.
In those first 3 months after the death, when someone clicks that and states how they are related, the transfer will be automatic. No more having to wait!
Between 3 months and one year after the death, the button will still be there, but it doesn’t sound like the transfer will be automatic. The site says, “To request to manage a memorial for someone you are related to (within our updated transfer guidelines) who has died in the past year, select ‘Manage’ and go through the process to become the manager of the memorial.” (As of 11 January 2022.)
So that’s a bit ambiguous as to whether the transfer will be automatic or if it is still has to be approved by the memorial’s creator.
Once a close family member manages the memorial or it is more than 3 months after the death, the memorial appears on the site just like a “regular” memorial, complete with all of the information that the memorial creator added.
How This Helps Family Members
You might be wondering what will keep people from lying? Won’t unscrupulous memorial creators just fib and say that they’re closely related to everyone? How does this protect the families of the deceased?
Here’s the cool thing about that relationship question being on there. FindAGrave can see that you’re marking yourself as a close relative. Some people create dozens, even hundreds, of memorials every week. Even during a pandemic, nobody is losing hundreds of close family members every week. This can serve as a flag for FindAGrave to spot unscrupulous behavior.
I do need to add that the majority of FindAGrave volunteers are wonderful, helpful people. It’s been a small minority who haven’t always been as sensitive as they could be toward the family of deceased.
Changes in FindAGrave Required Transfers
I’ve used the phrase “close family member” several times, and that brings us to the second big update at FindAGrave – an expansion of the relationships that are considered required transfers.
Previously, it had to fall within 4 generations – so you back to your great-grandparents or you down to your great-grandchildren. No in-laws, no step-relationships, no adoptions. Just strict bloodline. That excluded aunts and uncles, brothers-in-law, etc. This caused pain and stress to family members who wanted to manage the memorial of a beloved maiden aunt – a woman with no children. Because it had been outside of the required transfer, there were some memorial creators who refused to transfer, even if they weren’t related at all.
Now, the new guidelines have expanded those covered by a required transfer. As of January 11, 2022, those relationships are:
“…child, spouse/partner, sibling, parent, grandchild, great-grandchild, grandparent, great-grandparent, niece/nephew, great-niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, great-aunt/uncle, or first cousin. This would include adoptive, step and in-law versions of these relationships.”
FindAGrave has also clarified what will happen if two close family members want to manage the same memorial. If two members are related within these guidelines and both would like to manage the memorial, the member with the closer relationship should be given management.
I think these two updates by FindAGrave is a great step forward in being more sensitive to the families of the recently deceased and can help even more family members be able to manage the memorials of their loved ones.
Let me know down in the comments what you think about these changes? Are they good? Do you think they’ll help?
- “Memorials for the Recently Deceased” (FindAGrave support page outlining the changes)
- “Request to Manage” (FindAGrave support page, which outlines the required transfer relationships)