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Revocation of a Will in Raleigh

A Will is a permanent document that carries legal effect. Once you have properly created a Will, no other person can alter it or cause the court to invalidate it. However, as the testator of a Will, you can still make changes to this document or revoke it at any time. As long as you follow the correct procedures for revocation of a Will in Raleigh, you retain control or whether the document has legal authority. If new life circumstances have made it necessary to invalidate a previous Will, speak to a seasoned lawyer at our firm. Our legal team can help you revoke your Will in a way that leaves no doubt as to your intent.

The Legal Process Behind Revoking a Will in Raleigh

A Will represents a person’s wishes for what is to be done after their death. If a Will follows the correct formatting rules, it remains in effect until that person’s death. Even so, a testator retains the power to revoke their Will at any time. North Carolina General Statutes § 31-5.1 provides detailed instructions on how to accomplish this.

One option is for the testator to destroy the Will clearly and unambiguously. Possible ways of doing this include:

  • Tearing
  • Shredding
  • Burning
  • Stamping the document with a “cancelled” sign
  • Writing “Void” on the document

The second option involves crafting and signing a new Will. By state law, only one Will can have a legal effect, and the document with the later date of signature always carries priority. A local attorney can further advise testators on which Will revocation strategy may be appropriate in their situation.

Why do People Revoke their Wills?

For the most part, a testator’s motivations for revoking a Will are their own, and courts are unlikely to question their reasoning. However, if you are considering this important decision, it is worth examining the common reasons why a person may want to revoke a Will. A Will represents a person’s desires at a specific moment in time. Their unique life circumstances motivate them to make critical decisions such as which heirs will inherit property, whether assets will go to a charity, or who should serve as executor of the estate. Naturally, these choices may change over time as new circumstances arise.

Common Reasons for Revoking a Will

Major life events can motivate a testator to change their Will. Life changes can also make an older Will confusing or ambiguous. As such, it is important to evaluate your estate plan every few years to determine if any revisions may be necessary. Examples of life events that may necessitate a Will revocation include:

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having children or grandchildren
  • Starting a new business
  • Obtaining new assets or property

An attorney at our Raleigh office can help you evaluate your current situation to determine if revoking a Will or creating a new one is beneficial for your estate plan.

Reach Out to a Raleigh Attorney to Discuss Revocation of a Will

Having an effective estate plan is vital to achieving peace of mind for the future. A major part of this is evaluating your current Will. These documents have a permanent legal effect after your death, so it is crucial that you keep your Will up to date. If circumstances in your life change, it is possible to revoke your Will to better reflect your new situation. A skilled will lawyer can assist with this process and explain the possible strategies for revocation of a Will in Raleigh. Reach out to our attorneys today to learn more.