How is a Will cancelled or ‘revoked’?

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

A Will can be cancelled or ‘revoked’ in many ways. Whether a Will has been properly revoked may be an issue if, for example, more than one (1) Will has been found.

The testator’s intention to revoke his / her earlier Will is usually stated in the testator’s new Will. This means that a later Will usually overrides an earlier Will.

A Will can also be revoked by marriage, as discussed above, or by destroying it.

To revoke a Will by destroying it, the testator must burn it, tear it up or shred it with the intention that the destruction would revoke the Will. If a testator asks another person to destroy the Will in front of him/her, this may also revoke the Will.

If a Will is destroyed without the testator meaning to revoke the Will, for instance by accident, then a copy or draft version of the Will may be used to obtain probate.

If a Will cannot be found after the death of the testator, it is presumed that he/she destroyed the Will thereby revoking it.

You will probably need legal advice if the will is lost.

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