Memorial Gifts for Deceased Loved Ones

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A memorial gift is a donation that's made in honor of a deceased loved one. How surviving relatives decide to pay tribute to the person who died is a personal decision. There is no "wrong" amount that can be given as a memorial gift—families who are suffering financial hardship because of the death might not be able to afford a memorial gift until their money issues are resolved.

Alma Mater

Families can pay tribute to their loved one by donating to that person's high school or college. Options include donating to a scholarship fund or setting one up in a loved one's name, or giving money to the school to be used as the institution sees fit. Colleges also offer items like commemorative seats in assembly halls or pillars that are engraved with the deceased's name.

Health Care Facilities

People who appreciate the care that their relative received before their death can thank the hospital, hospice or nursing home with a donation. They could also give the staff a luncheon or send them flowers in the person's memory to personally thank those who provided hands-on care.

Social Causes

When someone dies of a particular disease or cause, people donate to societies dedicated to eradicating these problems and assisting those affected by them. For example, you can give money to the American Cancer Society if you lose someone to cancer. A couple whose daughter was killed in a drunk driving accident may donate to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers to support initiatives that prevent such tragedies.

Favorite Charities

Giving a gift to the deceased's favorite charity or cause is a popular option. A woman who supported the The Humane Society of the United States by volunteering her services at one of its shelters would be appropriately remembered with a gift in her name to the organization.

Memorial Bench

If your loved one had a favorite place they liked to visit or that held special memories for them, you can purchase items like a park bench or a memorial plaque to be posted in the area. For example, benches on boardwalks in New Jersey have been sold to families, who paid for the bench and a memorial plaque to pay tribute to loved ones who held the place dear.