Skip to main content

My moms boyfriend typed up a living will and had it notarized that if he dies that she is to handle everything that needs done.

Mount Vernon, OH |

He asked in his will to be cremated and his ashes to be spread at his favorite fishing spot. His family does not want to honor his wishes and they are saying the will he typed up and had notarized isnt legal and that my mom cant do as he had asked in his will. Is this true or are they just saying this to get her to believe it?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

First of all, a living will is a document that addresses medical care during life. The provisions for disposition of remains are appropriate for a plain, old-fashioned last will and testament. Mom's boyfriend needs to consult with experienced family or estate planning counsel to insure his wishes are enforced. although the law in this regard varies from state to state, most commonly it is the "next of kin" who is entitled to physical remains after death, and it is the next of kin that controls disposition of those remains. Commonly also, instructions for disposition properly given will supersede the rights of "next of kin." The formality of those instructions is also a matter of state law, but the chances are great that something home-made even though "typed up and notarized" will not be sufficient.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

Mark as helpful

7 lawyers agree

Posted

It is very possible that the document created by your Mom's boyfriend is not a valid will.
A signed document directing funeral instructions might be enough to be enforced.
This document should be reviewed by an attorney immediately for na opinion.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Posted

We would need to see the document. There are very specific legal requirements for valid wills. Notarization is not required. A lawyer needs to look at the will to tell you if it is valid.

Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

1 comment

C L Huddleston III

C L Huddleston III

Posted

I need to supplement my answer. As Ms. Sinclair points out, a standard-form Ohio Living Will/Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney is for making decisions during life, and controls nothing after death. However, a court might take into account the statements made in a document such as you describe when appointing an Administrator or in the event of family disputes such as you described. But in the event of a dispute between friends and "next of kin" courts will almost universally follow the wishes of the family. If this is important enough for you to spend time and money fighting his parents, you need a lawyer immediately ... and it needs to be a probate specialist, not a general practitioner.

Posted

This is exactly why people shouldn't do their own legal work. A will, a living will, and a funeral designation are three different documents with three different sets of formalities. If it is important enough to him to go against his family, he should pay someone to get it done right.

For informational purposes only; not intended to, and does not, constitute legal advice or a legal opinion.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

3 comments

Asker

Posted

its not going against his family it is what he wants and is his right and decision just like it is your decision of what you want done when you die. thank you for your answer but t was not helpful and it was kinda rude.

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Posted

Your post says "His family does not want to honor his wishes." Therefore what he wants is going against what his family wants. I did not mean to offend you but unfortunately my answer is correct whether it's what you want to hear or not.

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Posted

I agree 100% with you it's his decision and his family should respect that. I would also like to see them do that and did not mean the force of my answer to offend you; it was more directed against them. Good luck.

Wills and estates topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics