Update: Thank you to everyone for you comments and thoughts on this issue. We read all them and really appreciate the different perspective each of you brings to the conversation. We know there isn’t a perfect solution, but we appreciate your insights and will use them to refine our plans.
We occasionally hear from people who have have lost a loved one and, when they are ready, they go to Find A Grave to create a memorial for them and find that there is already one there. Many aren’t sure how to go about having the memorial transferred to them or the memorial manager is unresponsive which can make a challenging time more difficult.
It’s an unusual case, and we need to be balanced in our response to it, but we’d like to find a way to make this experience better.
Below is a rough outline of one idea we had. We’d love to hear what you think about this idea or any other ideas you have in the comments on this page.
When someone creates a memorial for someone who has died within the past year we would ask for their relationship. (One year is a starting point, but we’d be curious to hear your opinion on how long this time should be.)
If the person creating the page is not related within our transfer guidelines (this is currently direct line relatives within 4 generations, but we’d appreciate your thoughts on this too), we would let them know that the memorial will be in a provisional state and that if a family member would like to claim it, we will transfer it to them.
Once the memorial is created, it would look like any other memorial, but we would add some messaging to let family members know they can claim the page. (What message do you think would be appropriate?)
Next we would ask them how they are related. If the relationship is within the guidelines they would go to the next step. If they are not related within the guidelines, we would let them know that we only automatically transfer memorials to people within those guidelines and that they can contact the page manager to request a transfer and tell them how to do that.
To continue with the transfer they would need to sign in or create an account and if they don’t already manage other pages, we would give them a quick run down of what that entails.
Once they were signed in we would transfer the memorial to them and ask if they would like the page to continue to say “Created by [original creator]” or not. If they say no, we would remove the reference to the original creator and just say, “Managed by [new person].”