For those of you that have written your Will and desire to change it, you are able to revoke your old one and replace it altogether with with a new one. All Wills should contain a clause that revokes any previous Will that you have written or any codicil’s that have been created since the drafting of the original document. There are also ways of revoking a Will, which could include getting married or even destroying the original Will and any copies made of it.
If you burn, tear up or destroy your Will in some other way, it would be revoked. However, for it to be revoked it must be a deliberate act of destroying the document. If you destroy it accidentally it will not be revoked, it needs to be a completely deliberate act. In order for it to be effectively revoked, the testatorwill need to be the one to tear it up and deliberately destroy it. This may be done by someone else but it must be at the testator’s discretion, and the testator must be present or it is deemed not to have been revoked. It must be remembered that there will be serious problems to get over if no one knows exactly what was in the Will that had been destroyed but had not been revoked properly.
Getting married is another way to legally revoke a Will. It is presumed by law that a man or woman who has made a Will and later gets married would not want their original Will to stand. This therefore means that by getting married and not saying anything about an existing Will would revoke it, and not just part of it but the whole document. However, this can lead to some serious confusion if the Will is then revised. So it would be wise for someone who is thinking about getting married to make a new Will just before marriage and with a clause stating that it is in anticipation of marriage, otherwise the Will that you made before marriage will be revoked. Another common situation that does arise is if a long established co-habiting couple then decide to get married, any Wills that either of the couple had made previously, will be revoked.
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