Revival of a Revoked Will

/ August 27, 2013

Blank Paper & Cup of Coffee - iStockEarlier this month I discussed what is required to revoke a Will. Occasionally, however, testators wish to revive a revoked Will. Similar to revoking a Will, there are certain requirements to ensure that it is the intent of the testator to revive a previously revoked Will.

If a testator wholly revokes a subsequent Will (Will #2), which had revoked a previous Will (Will #1), Will #1 remains revoked unless the testator declares, or it is evident by the circumstances of the revocation, that it was his or her intention to revive Will #1.

Conversely, if a testator revokes a subsequent Will (Will #2), which had partially revoked a previous Will (Will #1), the revoked part(s) of Will #1 are revived unless the testator declares, or it is evident by the circumstances of the revocation, that it was not his or her intention to revive the revoked parts of Will #1.

Lastly, if a testator revokes a subsequent Will (Will #2) by executing a new Will (Will #3), and Will #2 had either fully or partially revoked a previous Will (Will #1), Will #1 remains either fully or partially revoked unless Will #1 or its revoked part(s) are revived by Will #3.

Reviving an older Will does not happen that often because, as you can see, things can get complicated. If you have an older Will and wish to make updates or changes to it, it can be advisable just to start fresh to avoid complications and confusions. Contact an estate planning attorney if you have questions about any previous estate plans you may have in place to determine the best way to make those updates or changes.

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