Is It Possible To Revoke A Will In Florida?
Many people mistakenly believe that Wills are set in stone, but that is not true. Even though it’s called “the Last Will and Testament,” it may not be your last Will if you later choose to update or revoke it.
Reasons why people revoke Wills vary from one case to another. In most cases, the Testator wants to revoke a Will when their circumstances change after major life events.
If you think that it’s time to make a change and revoke your Will, consult with our Sarasota Wills and probate lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law to discuss your legal options. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to determine the best way to revoke a Will in your particular situation.
Why Do I Need to Revoke a Will in Florida?
Reasons why you might need to revoke the Last Will and Testament in Florida include:
- One or several beneficiaries named in the Will have passed away since the original Will;
- You got married or divorced;
- Your child or grandchild was born;
- Your children or grandchildren became adults;
- You started or closed your business;
- There have been significant changes in your relationships with beneficiaries and family members; or
- There have been changes in tax law.
How Can I Revoke My Will in Florida?
Florida law recognizes two ways to revoke a Will:
- Revocation by writing (Fla. Stat. § 732.505)
- Revocation by an act (Fla. Stat. § 732.506)
- Revocation by writing
There are two ways to revoke a Will by writing:
- Creating a new Will or codicil that is inconsistent with your previous Will when it does not expressly revoke the older version; and
- Executing a new Will or codicil that expressly declares the revocation of all previous Wills and codicils.
Any experienced estate planning attorney would recommend the second option because the first one would not entirely revoke your previous Will. If your new Will does not expressly revoke the original Wills, the court will reconcile the two versions and only revoke any inconsistent provisions.
When revoking a Will by writing, it is advised to seek legal help from an attorney to draft and execute a new Will in a way that expressly revokes the original version.
- Revocation by act
Florida law also allows the Testator or another person acting on behalf of the Testator and in their presence to tear, burn, or otherwise destroy a Will with the intent of revocation by an act.
While destroying a Will to revoke it may sound easier than revoking it by writing, there may be several issues with that approach:
- It must be proven that the Testator intended to revoke the Will when they destroyed it;
- If the Will was destroyed by another person, it must be proven that (a) the Testator was present when the document was destroyed and (b) that person acted at the Testator’s direction; and
- If it is not known for a fact that the Testator destroyed the Will, the beneficiaries may think that the document got lost or went missing.
Revocation by an act may cause confusion and unintended complications, which is why it is advised to contact a skilled attorney to help you revoke your Will properly. Schedule a consultation with our lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law by calling 941-366-1800.