Over the years, we’ve heard from members about the timing of memorials for people who are recently deceased. The time directly following the loss of a loved one can be challenging and when a family member finds that an unrelated person has created a Find a Grave® memorial for their loved one before the family has had a reasonable time to mourn, it can add to the emotional strain.
We’ve made some changes on the site that we hope will help close relatives, while still supporting the Find a Grave community’s efforts to catalog death and burial information. These changes include:
- Limits on what is shown on memorials for people who have died in the past 3 months.
- An option for memorial creators and managers to indicate their relationship to the person memorialized.
- A simplified process for family members to request management of memorials of people who have died in the past year.
- Other updates to support these changes.
These changes will apply to memorials added after January 11, 2022.
We are also updating our transfer guidelines to include some close relatives that are not in a direct line.
Here are a few examples to provide more details about the changes:
Memorials Managed By a Relative
When you add a new memorial, you’ll be asked, “Are you a close relative?” You can also set your relationship to people in memorials you already manage on the Edit page. If you select “Yes” and choose your relationship, the memorial will look and be displayed like any other memorial on the site.
When adding your relationship, use the checkbox to make your relationship public or private. If you choose to “Show relationship in source information,” your relationship will display next to your profile name at the bottom of the memorial. If you choose to keep your relationship private, nothing will be displayed next to your profile name for other members, but you will see a note that your relationship is private.
In memorials lists, you will also see a green dot (public) or lock (private) to indicate memorials for people you are related to.
Memorials Managed By Someone Who is Not Related
For memorials managed by someone who is not a relative, the manager’s view of the memorial will be just the same as any other memorial they manage. To other viewers, the memorial will display with limited information for three months from the death date. Here is an example of what a memorial for a recently deceased person will look like in a search list (for everyone except the manager):
In addition to limiting the information we display, we have also added a simple way for family members to request to manage the memorial. A close relative can click the “Manage” button, add their relationship, and become the manager of a new memorial for that person. Since the manager is related, the memorial will now display and act as any other memorial on the site.
After three months from the death date, the view of the memorial is no longer limited. The memorial will show as others do except that for up to a year from the death date, the option for a close relative to “Manage” the memorial will show on the memorial.
Adding Your Relationship to Memorials You Manage
Relationship information helps us make decisions about merges, transfer requests and memorials for the recently deceased. You can add your relationship to existing memorials that you manage. To add your relationship, go to the memorial, select “Edit,” scroll down, and choose your relationship. We limit the number of memorials you can manage with certain relationship types to help prevent abuse.
You can find a list of memorials you are related to by hovering over your profile name, selecting “My Memorials” and choosing “Related” from the dropdown menu next to “My Memorials.”
Updates to Transfer Guidelines
Memorials are transferred for relatives with these close relationships: 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. Please show sensitivity to immediate and extended family members and their requests.
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.
Learn more from our Help site here.
We sincerely appreciate all the volunteers and their work in adding memorials to the site everyday. We feel that these changes provide an appropriate balance between allowing memorials to be added for those who are recently deceased and showing sensitivity to their family members.