How to Set Up a Memorial Fund for a Widow

When a woman loses her spouse, she may find herself unable to take care of financial responsibilities.

For many people, the tragedy of losing a loved one overshadows day-to-day expectations like jobs, bills and chores. When a woman loses her spouse, she may be losing a primary or secondary income, in addition to having to cover the added cost of medical and funeral expenses. Memorial funds are generally created to assist the grieving family with costs; alternatively, the money is donated to a specific organization in memory of the deceased.

Decide whose name to put the memorial fund in. The first step when setting up a memorial fund is to name the account so that people know where to donate. Generally, the fund is set up in the deceased's name in honor of hislife; however, it may also be placed in the widow's name. Ask the widow her preference.

Make plans for money allocation. There are several options when considering how to use memorial funds. If the widow is grieving, she may not want to deal with paying for funeral services and other expenses, so it may be necessary to place someone in charge of disbursing the funds. Additionally, there may be a specific purchase intended for the fund, such as sending the widow to visit relatives or purchasing something that she needs, such as a vehicle. If the widow is not accessing the funds directly, plan ahead so that when the fund is created you know who needs the ability to access it.

Choose a bank or charitable organization. Most banks have specific account options for memorial funds so that donations can be accepted and accessed by the recipients. Contact area banks -- they can provide information about their specific memorial options. Choose the best option and establish the account. If you are choosing a charitable organization, visit the website or call the organization to set up the memorial fund.

Contact family and friends. The first step after the fund has been created is to contact the family and friends of the deceased to inform them of the fund so that they can donate if they choose. Usually, they will need only to contact the bank where the fund was created to make a donation to the account.

Extend information to the community. In some instances, it may not be appropriate to implore the community for donations. However if the deceased or his widow is a known community figure, if the death was especially abrupt or if the family is greatly in need of the funds, the community may provide their financial support. Notice of the fund can be announced in newspapers, on bulletin boards or even on radio shows. Contact the appropriate media outlets and give them the name of the memorial fund and the bank that is holding the account.

Based in northern Michigan, J.R. Erickson has been a freelance writer since 2006. She has been published at the White Pine Press, Michigan Nature Association, Life in the USA, and The Four Cornered Universe. Erickson holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Michigan State University.