Your Last Will and Testament lays out your intentions for your property when you pass away. This legal document can establish your heirs or even transfer assets into a trust. However, if your wishes change, it is possible to revoke a prior Will to ensure that it never takes effect.
There are multiple ways to invalidate a previous Will under state law. To ensure your final wishes are achieved, speak with an experienced attorney about your estate planning goals. A legal advisor could answer any questions you may have about the revocation of a Will in Cary.
The most common way to revoke a Will is through the creation of a new document that takes its place. In Cary, this is known as revoking a Will through subsequent writing. An individual can revoke an old Will entirely or in part by either drafting an entirely new Will or attaching a codicil to the original document. As long as the new writing meets all of the requirements of a Will, it can replace or revoke the original one.
However, there is an important exception to revocation by subsequent writing. Although state law allows for oral Wills, it is not possible to orally revoke a written Will. It is only possible to use a new oral Will to replace an old one that was created orally. A knowledgeable attorney could further explain these legal nuances for revoking written or oral Wills in Cary.
In addition to creating a new document, it is also possible to revoke a written Will through the physical act of destroying it. Under the law, there are multiple ways to cancel a Will by destroying it, including:
Additionally, the destruction of the Will must also occur simultaneously with the intent to revoke the document. Without this intent, state law does not consider the Will invalidated. For example, accidentally burning or destroying a Will does not revoke it.
Importantly, the destruction of the Will only revokes the document if the physical act is done by the person who made it. If another person burns, tears, or destroys a Will, it will typically not revoke the document. The only exception to this is if another person destroys a Will under the maker’s direction while in their presence.
Unlike in most jurisdictions, it is possible to revive a revoked Will in Cary. According to the law, a Will-maker can revive a document and give it legal weight again under certain situations. This typically applies to cases involving the revocation of a Will by subsequent writing. Reviving a Will by re-executing the original document requires all the formalities of creating a new Will entirely.
It is also possible to execute an amended document, known as a codicil, of the revoked Will. If the codicil meets the testamentary formalities, it can revive the revoked Will it is attached to. It is even possible to revive an old Will by executing a new Will that references the original document. A well-informed lawyer could walk a Cary resident through their options for reviving all or parts of a previously revoked Will.
If your final wishes have changed, you may wish to alter the terms of your Will or revoke the document entirely. However, there are strict technical requirements for the revocation of a Will in Cary, so it is important to obtain legal guidance during the process.