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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am about to publish a book with the self-explanatory title:

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I am about to publish a book with the self-explanatory title: Where to find things when I'm gone.The book contains up to 50 templates which the owner is invited to fill in so that when the inevitable happens their family and indeed Solicitor will know exactly where to find important documents relating to: ***** ***** Pensions, Investments, mortgage, insurances,house deeds, banking etc. My question is; Will this book be accepted as a Codicil in the eyes of the law, and if not what does it need to make it acceptable?

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Will the templates remain in the book or be removed?

Will the contents attempt to amend a will?

If not I am not sure why you refer toa codicil.

Do you meana letter of wishes?

What does the book actually do apart from provide information?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo,

Thank you for your prompt response.

The pages will remain in the book, which is wire bound.

It was never my intention that it should amend a will partly because many people won't have one. More's the pity.

At the end of the book is a page headed 'my final wishes' listing matters relating to burial or cremation,whether or not a plot has been reserved, type of service, preferred hymns and readings.

I am aware that a Codicil is a supplementary legal document that contains an addition, explanation or modification to something in a will.

If somebody does have a will I need clarification regarding whether a solicitor would regard the whole pr part of the document a legitimate Codicil.

The book doesn't do anything more than provide a detailed record of personal information. There's advice regarding passwords and how to keep them safe and secure but the main body contains templates designed that are easy to fill in and a real bonus for anybody left behind facing the task of 'sorting things out'.

Hope that helps.


The reference to a codicil isnt relevant here. What legal effect are you looking for?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not looking for a legal effect and I have no idea what 'letter of wishes' is. Just wanted to know if the book or part of it would or could be regarded as a codicil. From what you say i suspect the short answer is no.


A codicil is a specific document designed to do a specific purpose, to amend a will It must be a stand-alone document. It must be written in ink. It must say that it’s a codicil. It must be witnessed by two parties and it must be signed by the person doing the codicil. There are other criteria is no point in going into them here. Even if that’s what you wanted to do, amend a will, the chances of the wording of the document in your book actually doing that is remote in the extreme which is why solicitors draft them specifically to suit individual circumstances.

I cannot think that what you’re doing even resembles a codicil. I think that you probably misunderstanding what a codicil is.

A letter of wishes is simply that. Basically it is a non-legally binding document which explains what people want to happen after their death. You could incorporate a letter of wishes into your book but I think the chances of a standard document doing what the person wants is unlikely.

I think what you are proposing is an excellent idea because it puts everything with regard to a deceased person’s affairs into one place and it would certainly make an executor and many solicitors jobs much easier after persons died if everyone had such a document or book.

However it’s of no legal effect but from what you’ve said, it doesn’t appear to need a legal effect because it’s more of an information document than anything.

With regard to any comments made even in a will with regard to cremation or burial or suchlike, this is not actually enforceable in any event so there’s no problem having it in your book.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


What you've said is crystal clear. I'll steer well clear of the codicil reference.

I'd be happy to send you a copy of the book when it's published.

Just let me know where to send it. Many thanks and Happy New Year.

Kind regards,


No problem and all the best.
I am not allowed to share addresses under the rules of this site but thanks anyway.
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