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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Wills > Does A New Will Revoke An Old One?

Does A New Will Revoke An Old One?


As circumstances in your life change, so too, should your will and other elements of your estate plan. After a marriage, divorce, birth, or death, you may want to make changes to your will or draft one that is completely new. This is a responsible and smart decision, but drafting a new will can cause certain issues. Many people assume that when they create a new will, their old one is automatically revoked. However, this is not always the case. Below, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer explains more.

Should You Change Your Existing Will or Draft a New One? 

You do not always need to create a completely new will, even when there has been a major life change. Instead, you may choose to add a codicil. Codicils are legal documents that change certain portions of a will, or that add to it, without the original being entirely revoked. In the majority of cases, it is recommended that you draft a new will instead of adding a codicil to the current document. When drafting a new will, you should know that it does not revoke your old one automatically. In fact, drafting a new will can create future complications, particularly if the two documents contradict each other.

Revoking a Will Through Operation of Law 

An operation of law can revoke your will, but this is not something you can do on your own. For your will to be revoked using operation of the law, a portion of it must be legally invalid. For example, if you created a will while you were married, you likely named your spouse as a beneficiary. If you later got divorced but did not change your will, any portion of the document that refers to your spouse will be considered invalid.

Revoking a Will Through Writing 

You can revoke a will in writing using language such as “hereby revoking any existing former wills,” but it is always best to work with an attorney who will know what terminology to use. You may want to revoke just certain portions of your will but the probate court will try to reconcile all parts of the document. For this reason, it is usually best to revoke your entire old will in writing and then draft a new one.

Revoking a Will By an Act 

There are specific acts that can revoke your old will. If you or someone acting on your behalf tears, burns, obliterates, destroys, defaces, or cancels your old will with the intention of revoking it, it can serve that purpose. Before taking any of these actions, you should also speak with an attorney who can advise on how to do it properly.

Our Wills and Trusts Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help with Your Case 

Drafting a new will can ensure that your final wishes are fulfilled, but it is important to work with a Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer to ensure it does not raise issues in the future. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our experienced attorneys can help you make any necessary changes without creating further complications. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.



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