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Does destroying a will revoke it?

The longer you wait to make a will, the more likely you’ll never get around to it. If you still have not created a will, you should take some time to consider how a will might benefit you and make a point of creating your will as soon as possible. However, for those who already have a will, it is wise to consider if you need to amend or entirely revoke your will if you experience a number of significant life changes.

A will is still malleable until you pass away or become incapacitated, as long as you take the time to amend it. You may also wish to revoke the will entirely and start with a fresh slate. Generally speaking, you may revoke a will either by destroying the will or by simply creating a new will.

It is worth noting that destroying a will is a much simpler and effective method than creating a new will to supersede your existing will. If you create multiple wills without destroying the revoked iteration, conflicts can easily arise after you pass away and can no longer speak into the matter. Your heirs or beneficiaries may dispute which will is actually the valid version, incurring unnecessary expenses and possibly harming relationships between your heirs and other beneficiaries.

If you believe it is time to revoke your will, destroying the document entirely is the easiest way to do so. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you ensure that you fully understand the legal implications of revoking your will and will help keep you rights and priorities safe.

Source: Findlaw, “How to Revoke a Will,” accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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