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How do you revoke a will in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Power Of Attorney, Simple Wills | 0 comments

You may have a will that you prepared many years ago. Your life has changed in many ways since you signed that will. Named beneficiaries or executors may no longer be living.

You can cancel your last will and make a new one to reflect your updated circumstances. Virginia law specifies actions that need to occur to revoke a prior will.

Destruction of the will

One method to revoke a prior will is to destroy it physically. You can burn it, tear it or cut it up. You can also direct someone else to ruin it for you. As long as the document no longer exists, it is not valid. If you have multiple copies of an originally executed will, you must ensure that all versions get destroyed.

Express statement of revocation

Another way to cancel an earlier will is to make a statement in a new document. The new record must state that you revoke the old will expressly and that the document is null and void.

Document inconsistencies

If you execute a new will and it only partially revokes a prior document or provision, the newly completed document will control the distribution of your estate. Likewise, suppose you do not expressly revoke a previous will when preparing a new one. In that case, the new document controls your estate administration to the extent there is any inconsistency between the two papers.

Having a will allows you to direct your estate distribution. Under Virginia law, you can cancel or modify your will at any time prior to your death.