Thursday, March 12, 2009

Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament

Have you given thought about what should become of those genealogical records and materials that you have worked so tirelessly to accumulate? Will your family know what your wishes are? Don’t want to leave things to chance?

Consider a codicil to your will that will spell out your desires. A draft of such a codicil appears below. Note: There are several similar variations of this codicil found on the Internet, including, making it impossible to give the proper credit to the original source.

If you’re not inclined at this time to make an amendment to your will, consider copying the codicil into your word processing program and completing those italicized parts with your information. Then keep a copy in a prominent place among your genealogical records -- updating when appropriate. This may not be as good as formally amending your will but it can provide detailed guidance to family members at a stressful time when heads may not be thinking too clearly.

Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament

To my spouse, children, guardian, administrator and/or executor:

Upon my death it is requested that you DO NOT dispose of any or all of my genealogical records, both those prepared personally by me and those records prepared by others which may be in my possession, including but not limited to books, files, notebooks or computer programs for a period of two years.

During this time period, please attempt to identify one or more persons who would be willing to take custody of the said materials and the responsibility of maintaining and continuing the family histories.

[If you know whom within your family or friends are likely candidates to accept these materials, please add the following at this point:

"I suggest that the persons contacted regarding the assumption of the custody of these items include but not be limited to"

and then list the names of those individuals at this point, with their addresses and telephone numbers if known]

In the event you do not find anyone to accept these materials, please contact the various genealogical organizations that I have been a member of and determine if they will accept some parts or all of my genealogical materials.

[List organizations, addresses and phone numbers at bottom; include local chapters, with their addresses, phone numbers and contact persons if available as well as state/national contact information and addresses]

Please remember that my genealogical endeavors consumed a great deal of time, travel, and money. Therefore it is my desire that the products of these endeavors be allowed to continue in a manner that will make them available to others in the future.

Signature ______________________ Date ______________

Witness _______________________ Date ______________

Witness _______________________ Date ______________

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