Does a codicil to a will, indicating the choice of cremation upon death, require witnesses or notarization? 23 Answers as of March 28, 2014

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
Yes, a codicil has the same requirements as a will. Therefore it must be witnessed by two unrelated, unbiased witnesses.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/28/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada a codicil requires witnesses and notarization.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/25/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
A codicil of a will requires the same execution as the will itself. In Ohio, that means two witnesses must sign. Generally, the will isn't consulted in determining funeral arrangements. It's very common that no one looks at the will until weeks, even months after the death and any instructions in the will about final arrangements are seen too late.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/25/2014
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
A codicil requires witnesses, not notarization. A better way to arrange for cremation is through an advance health care directive.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
It can be holographic, meaning entirely written, dated and signed, or it can be witnessed by two witnesses.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    In California, if the codicil is in the testator's own handwriting, then all is required is that the testator sign and date it. If the codicil was typed, then it should be witnessed by two independent witnesses. California does not require it to be notarized. Contact a probate attorney to discuss your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    To be a legal codicil it probably needs to be witnessed by 2 unrelated (non heir) witnesses. However why go against the deceased's wishes and do something different?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    Tarasyuk Law Offices
    Tarasyuk Law Offices | Anna Tarasyuk
    In California, witnesses and codicils have to properly witnessed. There are some exceptions, for example if you are making holographic wills, but you have to be very careful about doing it right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Codicils require witnesses; no notary required and should not be used.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/25/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Generally, witnesses would be required, but notarization is not. Under current Michigan law, however, the decedent can express his or her wishes, but the heirs have the right to refuse to honor them. It is up to the heirs to decide on funeral arrangements. There is a current legislative effort to change that, but there is no way to know if and when it will succeed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If all it does is indicate a choice for cremation, then it's not a codicil to the will. It might be effective as a written direction concerning the disposition under Chapter 97 of the ORS.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    The codicil will follow the same steps in execution as a will. That is two witnesses seeing the testator signing the will and the two witnesses signing in front of each other.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    EVERY codicil to a will requires 2 witnesses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    Normally a codicil would have the same requirements that a will has. At the same time the terms of the will may indicate later written instructions as to funeral arrangements. If you know the codicil is in the hand writing of the testator why wouldn't you want to honor that request?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    I believe that it should meet the same criteria as authenticating the original will. On the other hand, why not honor the wishes of the decedent regardless of whether it was done properly.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It depends if it qualifies as a holographic Will in Nevada, if it does not then it must satisfy the requirements of having two witnesses and preferably the witnesses signatures are notarized.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Yes, the requirements necessary for the will carries over to codicils. It's the only way one can tell that it was the declarer's wishes and not someone else's.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    In Missouri you do not want to put the choice of cremation into a codicil to a will. Do a durable power of attorney for health care and you can give authority to the person you appoint to determine what happens to your body after your death. You can also give the person the right to give consent to an autopsy or postmortem examination after your death. These are the only times that a durable power of attorney extends past death. Let that person know that you want to be cremated.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Not necessarily. However, I don't recommend putting instructions about what to do with the body in a will because the will may not be available at the time this decision has to be made. I usually put this provision in a living will that gets distributed to doctors, hospitals, and family members rather than in the last will and testament.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    A Codicil requires the same signing protocol as signing a Will. That is because it becomes part of the Will. The testator must sign the Codicil in the presence of at least two (2) witnesses. Acknowledgment by a notary public is not strictly necessary in Illinois but a notary public acknowledgment of the signatures by the testator and witnesses simplifies the Will prove up process. If a notary public acknowledgement is used, the testator and witnesses must sign the Codicil in the presence of the notary public.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    A codicil must be executed with the same formality as a will. In Missouri, that requires two disinterested witnesses over the age of 18 in the presence of the person signing the codicil when s/he signs. Disinterested means not to take anything under the will.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Law Office of Peatsa C. Wallace | Peatsa C. Wallace
    A codicil has to be signed with the same formalities as a Will....testator's signature and two witnesses. It does not require a notary's signature. However, I would recommend that a self-proving affidavit be signed along with the Codicil. The affidavit requires the signature of the testator, two witnesses, and a notary public's signature. The purpose of the affidavit is to show that the testator and witnesses affirm that they saw the testator sign and vice versa, as well as states that the witnesses are 14 years or older, etc. Also, at the time of testator's death, if there is an affidavit, witnesses do not have to be tracked down to swear they saw the testator sign the Codicil. The Will of the testator at the time of execution should also have had a self-proving affidavit done.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/24/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    No. It must be signed by the decedent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2014
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