How do you revoke a Will?

People sometimes ask if their Last Will and Testament comes with an expiration date. Do you need to fill out a new Will if at any time the old one expires? While the answer to that question is no, it is always a good idea to change your Will as you see fit. Life changes and your Will should change along with it. There are numerous reasons as to why you would want to change your Will including: a birth or death in the family, a new job which causes you to move from your old location, receiving a new inheritance, or anything major which causes changes to your life.

Some people ask if they can simply input certain hand-written lines into their Last Will and Testament, which is really not a good idea simply for the fact that a hand-written notation scribbled on the side of a Last Will can cause confusion for your Executor or loved ones. If you hand-write an amendment to your Will it may invalidate other parts of your Will. Or it just may be confusing to read, or even not considered as a legally-binding aspect of your Will.

If you want to make changes to your Will, having an entirely brand-new Will drafted up is best.

That brings up another question about Wills: what happens to the previous Will you created? When you create a brand-new Will, any Will that was created prior to that is rendered null and void. There is usually a clause specifying this in the Will and this clears up any confusion between the new and old Will you have just created. In order to ensure that copies of your old and new Will don’t get mixed up, you may want to either shred or burn the old document, which includes both signed and unsigned copies of the Will. That also includes making sure that neither your Executor nor your loved ones have any copies of the old Will.

One thing to be certain of when you start drafting up your new Will is to ensure that your Executor and loved ones all know about the new copy. There are infamous cases of squabbling over money once a person dies and contentious courtroom battles over a person’s assets. Even if you believe that you don’t own much, you still want to make sure that there is enough for your family or loved ones to be looked after, don’t you?