Remembering Loved Ones with Online Memorials

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The Internet has reshaped almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we share information, grieve, and memorialize our loved ones. With families becoming more geographically dispersed and more than 50% choosing cremation over traditional burials, new online options have emerged that reshape how we commemorate the lives of our loved ones. Online memorial sites can bring us to together, even over great distances, to plan celebrations of those we’ve lost and build lasting online memorials.  

Whether you've recently lost a loved one or you're planning ahead for an ill family member, you may be wondering how to sift through all the options out there for an online memorial.  We've rounded up several options below based on what features you need.

Which Type of Online Memorial Is Right For Your Loved One?

It really depends on what you're looking to accomplish with the online memorial, but there are several broad categories to consider first:

  • a multipurpose memorial site ( which combines some of the features below)
  • memorial page creation & hosting
  • social media memorials
  • crowdfunding pages for funeral or medical expenses

Read on to learn more about each type.

Multipurpose Sites for Memorial, Events, & Crowdfunding

The newest site is a hybrid of an online memorial, event planning, and crowdfunding all in one, and offers resources to make the memorial as unique as your loved one. 

GatheringUs (free) is a comprehensive funeral and memorial online platform that brings communities together after the death of a loved one. Family and friends can post a free, permanent online obituary,  organize and share information about funeral services (including tracking RSVPs and sorting out logistics), and crowdfund for funeral expenses or charitable causes. Communities can also share photos, videos, and stories, and send their condolences. Because the memorial remains online even after the crowdfunding ends, it serves as both a lasting tribute and a way to keep friends and family in contact to exchange memories, offer support, and plan future celebrations of life.

Memorial Page Creation & Hosting Sites

These sites tend to include a range of customizable features, such as photo albums, family trees, timelines, guestbooks, video, music, and privacy controls to limit who can see or change the page.  

Sites that offer special features:

  • Qeepr ($75 for code) offers geotagging to help mourners find graves and “Qeepr Codes” to affix to physical monuments that link back to the online memorial when scanned with a smart device.
  • We Remember (free) an offshoot of genealogy site Ancestry.com, emphasizes family genealogy by assembling memorial pages from the submissions of each individual in a network.

If you don’t require special features, choosing between these sites may simply depend on which you find the most elegant, welcoming, or intuitive, and within your budget.


Sites that offer free basic plans and charge for additional features:

Sites that provide for-fee services:

  • Legacy.com, a well-established site, is free for the first two weeks, then costs $49 for the first year, with a $19 annual renewal fee.
  • Tributes.com charges $20 for a basic Death Notice and $50 for a full Online Obituary but no subsequent maintenance or renewal fees.

Social Media Memorials for Deceased Users

Many major social media platforms have their own policies for handling the accounts of deceased users.

Facebook Memorialized Accounts

Upon learning of a death, Facebook adds “Remembering” to the top of a profile, turning it into a “Memorialized Account.”  If privacy settings permit, users who are already friends with the deceased can express condolences and share memories. Unless the deceased appointed a legacy contact in advance, the page will remain otherwise unchanged.

Instagram Memorialized Accounts

You can also request to memorialize an Instagram account. This request can be initiated by a family member of the deceased. You’ll need to provide proof of death and identity, such as birth and death certificates.

Crowdfunding Pages for Funeral & Medical Expenses

Communities have always played an important role after a loss, providing emotional support as well, at times, financial support. Online crowdfunding can now facilitate this process. The best-known crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, has a section dedicated to funerals, memorial funds, and end-of-life costs.  Newcomers dedicated exclusively to funeral crowdfunding include FuneralFundMe and FundtheFuneral. While allowing organizers to post text and images and visitors to leave comments, these sites are designed for fundraising rather than memorializing or community organizing.

Would You Want an Online Memorial for Yourself?

You may be reading this article to plan for a loved one, but have you considered what you might want for yourself someday?  Would you want your Facebook account to be memorialized? Do you want an online memorial site to host your obituary? We all have unique preferences and should express them so our own family members know what to do after we're gone.  Considering creating a free end-of-life plan with Cake (you're on our blog right now!) to express all your preferences for healthcare, financial, funeral, and legacy decisions. It's easy to update your plan as life changes and share access with anyone who will be involved in honoring your wishes someday. Create your free Cake plan.