A Codicil for Your Will

Greetings Giles County Visitor, Here is some information that has been appearing here and there on some of the genealogical lists, and in other places, concerning the protection of genealogical research materials upon the death of a researcher. Shown below is something of a model for language that can be used in a codicil to an existing will, or that can be placed in an original will, and which makes provision for the preservation of the years of research that most of us have invested in our family history. I have seen several different texts for such a directive, and I believe this one is the best, and easiest to use, of those that I have seen. This was found on the [email protected] (The Western Kentucky, Jackson Purchase Mail List). I would suspect that almost all of us have heard about - or been directly involved in - a situation in which an individual who spent years in genea- logical research passed on, but when, months later, a distant cousin inquires about what happened to the genealogical records of the deceased, a response comes back when says, basically, "We did not think anyone would be interested in them, so we threw them out". Having a directive in place in a will, or codicil to a will, will help prevent that from happening. I urge everyone to seriously consider this.
Draft Language for Genealogical Materials Disposition
(This is shown as language for a codicil to an original will, but can be altered for inclusion in an original will.) "Genealogical Codicil to My Last Will and Testament: To my spouse, children, guardian, administrator and/or executor: Upon my demise 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 responsi- bility 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 of 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 ___________