You spent countless hours finding answers to brick walls. You enjoyed uncovering hidden stories and connecting with distant relatives. Now what? Ever wondered how all that work can survive after you are not here to to be its caretaker? One way to preserve your hard-worked research is to write a genealogy will or to add a codicil to your will.
Why Write a Genealogy Will?
We've all heard about wills that distribute monetary assets, properties, and sentimental belongings, but a genealogy will is something unique. It provides a place for the treasure trove of knowledge that you leave behind for your family. Similarly, a codicil is an add-on to your current will that can accomplish the same goal.
Here are a couple of compelling reasons why you should consider writing a genealogy will:
1. Preserve Your Hard Work: You've invested countless hours and a piece of your heart into your genealogy research. A genealogy will ensures your work lives on and doesn't get lost or forgotten.
2. Clarify Your Wishes: Without clear guidance, your research might end up scattered or even discarded. Your genealogy will defines your intentions and ensures your legacy is preserved as you envision it.
How to Draft Your Genealogy Wishes
Writing your genealogy will is a thoughtful and introspective process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Step 1: Define Your Purpose
Take a moment to reflect on why you want to create a genealogy will. Is it to ensure your research continues for future generations? Is it to preserve a specific collection of heirlooms? Your purpose will guide your decisions.
Step 2: List Your Genealogy Assets
-Make a list of all your genealogy assets, which can include:
Select a trusted family member, co-researcher, friend, or organization who shares your passion for genealogy and understands the significance of your research. Have an open and honest conversation with them to ensure they're willing to receive your research product. Tell them exactly what is included and how large the collection is.
Consider including alternatives in case your chosen custodian cannot take the collection. For example, you could ask that your research be stored (properly, in a climate controlled environment) for a period of two years while an alternate custodian is sought.
Step 4: Format and Documentation
Your genealogy will should be well-organized and easy to understand. Provide clear instructions on how to access your genealogy records and any specific wishes for their use.
Step 5: Legal Considerations
Consult with a legal professional to ensure your genealogy will is legally sound and adheres to the relevant laws in your jurisdiction.
Step 6: Share Your Plan
Lastly, share your plan with your chosen custodian and, if necessary, with close family members. It's essential that everyone is aware of your intentions and the responsibilities involved.
Writing a genealogy will is a testament to your dedication to preserving your family's history. It ensures your hard work and passion continue to inspire and educate future generations. So, take the time to craft your genealogy will, and rest assured that your legacy will be cherished for years to come.
Disclaimer: nothing herein should be taken as or utilized as legal advice. For any and all legal help and advice, consult an attorney.