In estate planning, the will is one of the most important documents involved in the plan. Any person should that holds assets or has any amount of wealth should consider drafting a will. Once that will is drafted, though, you shouldn’t think that you’re set for the rest of your life. Life-changing events can occur, and with these events may come the need to alter your will in some way.
There are many actions someone can take towards their will, and we will get to those over the coming weeks. But today, let’s focus on just one: revocation.
Revoking a will is a common act by many people who are looking after their estate. It can happen because of marriage or a divorce; because of the birth of a new child, or the death of a loved one or family member; because of a change of heart, or due to the actions or behaviors or another. There are many reasons to revoke your will.
In order to revoke your will, you will need to perform just one of many potential acts. You could destroy your will. If you go with this option, make sure your act of destruction is in accordance with state laws. Burn it, rip it, send it through the paper shredder — whatever officially destroys the will is good enough, so long as it is in line with the law.
Another way to revoke your will is to create a new will. Your new will will supercede the old will, and thus revoke the stipulations of the old will. This is easier, in many respects, than destroying a will. You can draw inspiration from your current will to create the new one, and once properly drafted and complete, the new will simply overrides the old one.
Last but not least, you can change your current will in some very critical ways. As a result, your amended will, now called a “codicil,” will revoke the rules and stipulations provided by the language in your old will.
In our next post, we will look changing your will, and what impact those changes can have on your will and your beneficiaries.
Source: FindLaw, “How to Revoke a Will,” Accessed Sept. 9, 2015